Progress of group tackling domestic abuse in Hartlepool area ‘stalled’ over past year

A meeting about the problem takes place next week at the Civic Centre.
A meeting about the problem takes place next week at the Civic Centre.

Council bosses have said the work of a group aimed at tackling domestic abuse in the area has “stalled” over the past year.

As part of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership a group had been set up to come up with a domestic abuse strategy and action plan, initially looking at from 2016 to 2019.

This comes as reducing incidents of domestic abuse is listed as a key priority for the partnership in the area.

However in 2018 only two meetings have taken place so far and calls have been made for a new strategy to be developed in 2019.

A main reason for this is that in June 2018, the former chair of the domestic violence and abuse strategic group retired and new chairing arrangements had to be put in place.

The work is taking place as part of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, which is made up of council officers, health bosses, police staff and more.

A report from Sally Robinson, director of children and joint commissioning services, said: “Due to changes in the chairing arrangements, there has been limited impact from the work of the group in the last year.

“It was apparent that momentum has stalled in delivering this action plan and maintaining an up to date multi agency performance management framework.

“However, the partners who make up the group have continued to work collaboratively to deliver timely and responsive services to those who are impacted upon by domestic abuse.”

The group aims to prevent abuse, pursue perpetrators and provide a partnership between different groups to help support those affected.

One success this year has been the work of the ‘Operation Encompass’ project which is delivered within schools to help educate pupils in the area and staff said it added ‘real value’ where it was carried out.

The group is now aiming to push forward with its work and decided at its last meeting its focus for the forthcoming year should be on the development of a robust needs analysis for its new strategy for 2020–2023.

Work is also underway to once again run local ‘16 days of activism’ events recognising the international campaign against gender based violence to women and girls.

This will run from 25th November, the international day for the elimination of violence against women, until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

A discussion on the the work of the domestic violence and abuse group will take place at the Safer Hartlepool Partnership meeting taking place at the Civic Centre on Tuesday from 4pm.

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service