Headlines: October 8th, 2003

The Local Government Association is leading a project that will pull together organisations and best practice across the country to respond to the growing problem of domestic violence. The project, which will be funded for three years by the Home Office, will develop a more integrated and coherent system for dealing with incidents of domestic violence by bringing together the police, criminal justice agencies and voluntary bodies.Richard Grant, chair of the LGA’s Community Safety Panel, said: “Domestic violence is a crime which affects people from all walks of life and too often goes unreported and unpunished. A range of agencies including local authorities and the police deal with the problem and locally they have developed innovative and effective ways of working. This project is focused on co-ordinating that work and sharing good ideas nationally to deliver a more consistent approach. It is essential that key council services such as education, housing and social services co-ordinate their work effectively to deal with the effects of domestic violence.”

Anthony Wills, a former Commander in the Metropolitan Police will act as consultant for the project. He said: “I hope my operational experience within an effective domestic violence partnership will, in some small way, add further impetus to the way in which this most socially corrosive of crimes is treated.”

A senior project officer will be appointed by the LGA to work alongside Anthony Wills to assemble examples of existing initiatives, produce a toolkit on good inter-agency working and organise seminars and conferences to promote best practice and influence key individuals and organisations.