The annual cost of tackling domestic abuse in Hartlepool is revealed

Council chiefs have stressed the importance of improving domestic abuse support in Hartlepool after the annual cost of tackling the problem was revealed.

Sunday, 26th September 2021, 9:29 am
Hartlepool Police Station, in Avenue Road, Hartlepool.

It comes after a presentation was given to the latest Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting.

Danielle Swainston, Hartlepool Borough Council assistant director for joint commissioning, said recent work brought up several stark points around the issue, including the rising demand for services.

She said: “If you estimate it on a national framework in terms of cost, you’re looking at £50million in Hartlepool for one year.

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“That’s across the whole, so that’ll be police response, it’ll be safeguarding response, it’ll be health response, it’s right across the system. Demand for services is high and increasing.”

She added this was without looking at the impact of “hidden victims” who are not known to authorities.

The presentation also noted there has been a rise in children impacted by domestic abuse.

Ms Swainston said: “In 2020-21, 46%, so nearly half of all of our assessments into safeguarding children and young people, have got domestic abuse within their needs.”

Officers also noted on average clients had received abuse for three years before accessing services in Hartlepool.

Ms Swainston said: “An average of three years is just not acceptable, we need to get better in terms of allowing, enabling, empowering victims to be able to come forward.”

She added: “We want victims and survivors to be absolutely at the heart of what will make a difference, you’ve lived and breathed this, what would have made a difference to you.”

Among the support services locally is Hartlepool Harbour Refuge on (01429) 277508 (24 hours).