Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Police and Crime Plan priority of reducing violence. Click on the question to reveal the answer.
If your question isn’t answered here, please get in touch by writing to email@example.com or by calling 01392 225555
This information was published in June 2023 and will be reviewed in June 2024.
This is a major area of focus for the Commissioner, who has prioritised tackling violence for her term of office. Violence is one of the key priority areas within her Police and Crime Plan 2021-2025. The plan sets out a series of key strategic ambitions with a particular focus on preventing serious violence and on tackling violence against women and girls.
Working with the Chief Constable, the Commissioner has established the £4M Serious Violence Prevention Programme which adopts a public-health approach to tackling violence. The programme seeks to break the cycle of violence by focusing on people under the age of 25 years old who are at risk of getting drawn into violence.
Alongside this, the Commissioner continues to invest in both victim and perpetrator programmes to prevent future crimes and ensure that the needs of victims are understood and met. As Chair of the Local Criminal Justice Board, the Commissioner is also focused on securing improvements across the criminal justice system to bring more offenders to justice, provide meaningful rehabilitation of offenders and support victims throughout their journey.
The actions being taken under the Police and Crime Plan are regularly reported to the Police and Crime Panel. The latest Violence Profile for Devon and Cornwall was submitted to the Panel in November 2022 and provides further information on some of the key initiatives and investments being made by the Commissioner.
What is the Police and Crime Commissioner doing to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) (including Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence?)
The Commissioner is taking a range of actions under the Police and Crime Plan to tackle violence against women and girls in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This includes holding the Chief Constable to account for the performance of Devon and Cornwall Police in preventing and investigating these crimes and for the quality of the services it provides to victims. The Commissioner is also taking a range of specific actions through the work of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner which includes:
- Supporting victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence through commissioning high quality support services
- Funding programmes which seek to address perpetrator behaviours which seek to break the cycle of offending and prevent further harm
- Working with local authorities and other partners to maximise use of the Home Office Safer Streets funding to deliver new initiatives in our area which help to tackle these crimes.
Further information on the actions being taken in all of these areas can be found in separate FAQs below.
The Commissioner’s new ten year, £20 million, strategic partnership with Victim Support is focused on delivering long term stability for victims and for the sector - identifying gaps and investing to meet those needs.
In 2022-23 local investment in support services for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse has been increased and totals just over £3.7 million. This investment is helping to secure access to ensure trauma informed, therapeutic services for victims of reported and non-reported crimes, including in 2022/23 investing:
- over £1M for provision of Independent Sexual Violence Advocates and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates to provide dedicated specialist support to victims
- £883,000 to provide support for medium and high-risk victims of domestic abuse
- £687,000 to support victims of sexual violence
This year’s investment also includes new services to support children and young people who are victims of sexual violence and to enhance therapeutic and peer support services for adult victims, through bespoke commissioned services from Barnardo’s, CLEAR, First Light, Women’s Centre Cornwall and the Children’s Society. This investment is for three years and is supported by an additional £612,000 per annum in funding from the Ministry of Justice.
In its role as the Commissioner’s Strategic Delivery Partner, Victim Support has commissioned ‘We Matter’ - a new digital service providing specialist support to children and young people who’ve experienced and witnessed domestic abuse in the home. This service provides an eight-session group programme for 8–17-year-olds, who are no longer living with the alleged perpetrator.
Information on how to access support can be found at the FAQ below ‘I am a victim of violence; how can I access support?’
How is the Police and Crime Commissioner working to tackle address perpetrator behaviours and prevent reoffending?
The Commissioner’s work to tackle perpetrator behaviours is focused on domestic abuse and sexual offending.
In 2022-23 the Commissioner secured £417,000 in funding from the Home Office to support a range of domestic abuse perpetrator projects being led by Community Safety Partnerships across the peninsula. These programmes work with people who cause harm to address their offending behaviours and prevent future victimisation.
The Commissioner is committed to improving the focus on behaviour change and has recruited a new Domestic Abuse Behaviour Change Strategic Lead to develop and lead a new partnership perpetrator strategy. The Commissioner will continue to seek to maximise funding from new government initiatives to support work in this area and will be submitting a bid for funding for 2023-24 and 2024-25 to the Home Office in February 2023 following the launch of a bidding process in January 2023.
The Commissioner also commissions two bespoke services that work with sexual offence perpetrators. Since 2015 the Commissioner has funded Circles SW to work with those individuals considered most at risk of reoffending. Circles SW provides an internationally acclaimed community approach to work with sex offenders by creating a team (circle) of community members who support and challenge the referred individual as they move post-conviction to being reintegrated into society. To date 75 circles have been funded. In 2022-23 the Commissioner engaged the SW Community Chaplaincy service to work with sex offenders who no longer fall under the auspices of the National Probation Service. This is a mentoring service which provides practical help, as well as behavioural challenge to these individuals, who are referred directly by Devon and Cornwall Police.
How is the Safer Streets Fund being used to help tackle violence against women and girls in our area?
Since 2020 over £4.7M in investment by the Home Office has been secured for 11 Safer Streets Fund and Safety of Women at Night Fund Projects. This includes:
- Safer Streets Fund 3: Projects operating in Plymouth City Centre and Falmouth have delivered a range of bespoke local initiatives, backed by £600,000 in Home Office funding. These have included new CCTV and street lighting, innovative new help-points in Plymouth and bystander awareness training in the night-time economy.
- Safety of Women at Night Fund: Exeter University worked with partners across the city supported by £72,000 in Home Office funding. Its work included bespoke training and awareness projects with both night time economy workers and women and girls, plus development of a new Safety Charter.
- Safer Streets Fund 4: Five bids to the Home Office were successful across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, delivering over £3M in funding, focused on addressing VAWG and anti-social behaviour. Projects are now live in Torquay, Truro, Barnstaple, Exeter and Plymouth. Initiatives include increased CCTV and street lighting, a new VAWG rapid response police car in Torquay and development of new safety charters for venues in our night-time economies.
StreetSafe is a new national initiative launched by the police which allows a person to provide feedback to the police (and partners) on areas where they feel unsafe within their community.
The tool can be accessed at StreetSafe - Tell the police and authorities where you don’t feel safe | Devon and Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk). It allows you to comment on where you feel unsafe and the reasons why you might feel unsafe e.g. poor lighting, drug litter, harassment or intimidation.
This local information is then available to local policing teams who can use this data to have discussions with the local authority and other partners about safety in the local area.
Phone 999 immediately if immediate action is required to save lives, stop injury or catch criminals.
101 non-emergency can be used for reporting a non-urgent crime, access to support services or to make an appointment. 101 services can now be accessed via calling 101, or through the webchat function: Devon and Cornwall Police Web Chat (devon-cornwall.police.uk).
Alternatively you can report a crime online use this link: Report something | Devon and Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk) or by visiting your local police station front desk. A list of these can be found here: A list of Police Enquiry Offices (PEOs) | Devon & Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk)
To stay 100% anonymous, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call Freephone 0800 555 111.
In an emergency always use 999.
To access victim support, please find relevant information at:
Or Call the Victim Care Unit at: 01392 475900
Under the Victims Code of Practice (introduced under the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004) victims of crime are entitled to a certain level of service support provided by all Criminal Justice Agencies. Details of your rights under the Victim Code can be found at:
Accessing support is not dependent on whether a victim has reported the incident to relevant authorities. However, reports help us improve intelligence around drug activity across the peninsula.
To report information to the police, please use one of the options below:
Contact us | Devon and Cornwall Police (devon-cornwall.police.uk), or by calling 101.
If someone is in danger or immediate action is required to save lives, stop injury or catch criminals call 999 immediately.
Please phone 999 immediately if immediate action is required to save lives, stop injury or catch criminals.