Two safeguarding projects designed to protect victims of violence in Derbyshire have won Government funding through a successful bid by the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Charles.
Part of the £12.5 million Ministry of Justice Competed Fund, Derbyshire’s award amounts to £99,500. Of that sum, £60,000 will be spent on technological devices for protecting victims at high risk of serious domestic violence. The remaining £39,500 will help to finance a video interview suite in the north of the county for victims of serious sexual violence.
“Both of these projects meet my priorities for protecting lives, bringing offenders to justice, helping victims cope with the impact of crime, preventing further harm and promoting recovery,” Mr Charles said.
“Although this funding is for one year only, it will be wisely used and help us to achieve positive results that will continue to bring benefits in the future.”
Awarded by Damian Green, the Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, funding has been allocated for 139 bids received from 37 PCCs. “The quality of the bids submitted was high, and I have taken this opportunity to fund all of the bids which merited funding,” Mr Green said.
The funding for technological protection will finance 100 extra devices – mostly in Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield – for use by repeat victims of serious domestic violence. An alarm set via GPS enables the victim to summon the aid they need, alert police to their whereabouts and also allow what is happening to be recorded for evidence.
“The police receive up to 1500 reports of violence each month, and of those more than 100 are from victims at high risk of violence and 200 at medium risk,” Mr Charles pointed out. “Buying a further 100 devices would support all those at high risk and enable a proactive management of the investigation and support plan.”
Plans for a video interview suite in north Derbyshire followed a proposal from partners, including the Constabulary and the Commissioner, in response to feedback from the Crown Court and victims.
Mr Charles explained: “One of the benefits of this scheme is that it causes less distress for the victim, enabling them to cope with the Criminal Justice System through new and safe facilities. It also increases the likelihood of them reporting the crime and providing the evidence required, leading to more convictions.”