More government money has been given to Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wiltshire and Swindon.
An additional boost of almost £180,000* has been allocated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to cover the period 31 October 2020 to 31 March 2021 to meet the additional costs registered charities or social enterprises have incurred or will incur whilst adapting their services during the continuing pandemic, and to cope with further demand increases resulting from it.
This money is on top of the MoJ cash given to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in May this year for the same causes covering the period 24 March to 31 October 2020.
Domestic abuse (DA) volumes during Covid have risen compared to pre-Covid, DA has increased by nine per cent and the first lockdown saw on average 40 total DA reports per day.
We have had concerns from partners expecting an increase in calls and referrals as DA incidents increase behind closed doors.
**June saw a 30% rise on last year in calls to the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service and Splitz helpline and an almost 40% increase in community service referrals from male and female victims.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said:
“This second set of funding to address domestic abuse and sexual violence of £180-thousand from the Ministry Of Justice is again very welcome.
“I am pleased that the government recognises that important services helping domestic abuse and sexual abuse victims need additional help during the ongoing pandemic.
“Back in March, when this all started, no-one knew that we would still be in the same situation eight months on.
“Sadly, an increase in domestic abuse and sexual violence was to be expected when lockdown started and that has been proven in our figures. That’s why this money is so important – supplementing funding to those organisations and their work which my office already support and plan to support going forward.”
OPCC Victims and Vulnerability Commissioning Manager Maria Milton said:
“The additional funding announcement is again welcome.
“Covid-19 has had a significant effect on all victims, and that’s been reflected in the ongoing good work by charities and organisations across our county. They’ve worked and continue to work to ensure additional support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence at this unprecedented time.
“This extra money will enable greater help and reach for those who need it.”