Domestic violence work in Leeds making '˜tangible difference'

EFFORTS TO tackle domestic violence and abuse in our city are starting to make a real difference, councillors were told.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 11th July 2016, 7:00 am
There were 16,705 incidents reported to police in Leeds during the year up to May 2016.
There were 16,705 incidents reported to police in Leeds during the year up to May 2016.

The issue was named as one of Leeds City Council’s eight ‘breakthrough projects’ last year in recognition of it complexity and importance.

Chief Superintendent Sam Millar, of the Leeds Community Safety Team, said: “I think it’s a really good picture for Leeds. That’s not to say it’s sorted at all – it’s not – but in terms of getting it to the top of the list for a lot of our agencies, I think we’re achieving that. We’ve made a really tangible difference.”

The latest meeting of the council’s Health and Environment Scrutiny Panel received an update on the breakthrough project and progress made against its own recommendations from 2014.

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One report revealed 16,705 incidents were recorded by police in Leeds in the year up to May 2016 and children were presented in about a third of them. Of those incidents, 36 per cent involved repeat victims.

Chf Supt Sam Millar said: “The picture around domestic violence, I would say, is quite static. The worry is the repeat rate – how many of our victims have come through our system.

“We haven’t broken the back of that yet. Thirty six per cent is not where we would want to be for an ambitious city like ours.”

Various agencies now work together under the name of the Front Door Safeguarding Hub and have reviewed more than 2,500 high risk cases since it was formed in April 2015.

It has brought the former monthly risk assessment conferences into its meetings, meaning cases are now heard within days of a referral.

A school notification system has also been set up as part of the breakthrough project so staff know if a child has been involved in a domestic violence incident the previous day.