Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, has secured nearly £380,000 to introduce innovative rehabilitation programmes for perpetrators of domestic abuse and stalking cases.

Incidents of domestic abuse and stalking have both increased during the pandemic and these new interventions are aimed at changing behaviour and stopping those responsible committing such crimes in the future.

This approach, which will be delivered in conjunction with Interventions Alliance, Kent Police and Lookahead, will support the safeguarding of victims, who will be kept informed of their abuser’s progress through a specialist link worker.

Kent’s OPCC successfully bid for £378,967 funding from the Home Office and will contribute an additional £178,000 to provide tailored behavioural change programmes for perpetrators.

The money will commission a series of one-to-one interventions for up to 80 perpetrators, 40 who committed domestic abuse and 40 who committed stalking offences. These will last between 10 and 12 weeks and aim to provide lasting behavioural change.

There will also be group work sessions for known perpetrators, delivered by Interventions Alliance, who already provide rehabilitation services for the National Probation Service.

The funding will be available immediately and will be in place until the end of July 2022.

Most serious crimes in our society

The Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott said: “These are some of the most serious crimes in our society, so I am pleased to be working with the Government on this innovative programme. This will seek to address the behaviour of the perpetrators of domestic abuse and stalking. With funding from the Government and my Office, it will enable us to deal with the root causes of the offending and try to prevent further cases in the future. With cases continuing to rise, I believe the experience of Interventions Alliance will make a real difference.”

Suki Binning, the Executive Director of Justice and Social Care with Interventions Alliance said: “The Compulsive and Obsessive Behaviour Intervention (COBI) is the first of its kind in the UK. It is an important, necessary behaviour change initiative from Interventions Alliance, targeted at stalkers. And our Healthy Relationships programme, targeted at domestic abuse perpetrators, uses cognitive behavioural therapy to enable perpetrators to have better relationships and reduce the risk to current or future victims. We’re proud to be working in partnership with the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, Kent Police, the Home Office and the survivor service Look Ahead to deliver these necessary programmes.”

Lookahead will provide the specialist liaison worker to support victims. Their domestic abuse lead Yvette Hazleden said: “Look Ahead is very pleased to work with our partners on this vital intervention programme. Changing perpetrators’ behaviour is an important way to keep victims safe. We are employing a dedicated Link Worker who will liaise with victims whose partners are taking part in the scheme to ensure its success. The victim’s safety is at the heart of our work and this programme is a very welcome addition to the range of domestic abuse services that Look Ahead offer in the county.”

By Ed

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