27th Feb, 2021

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner: 'We need £3.6m to cope with domestic abuse surge'

Sarah Mason 4th Dec, 2020

THE West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and leading domestic abuse charities in the region say they need £3.6million pounds to cope with a surge in domestic abuse cases.

Reports of domestic abuse to West Midlands Police have risen by 37 per cent in the past year.

Last week, it was revealed that recorded crime in the West Midlands had hit its highest levels since March 2007. This has been predominately due to significant increases around recorded domestic abuse crimes and harassment offences that now make up one in every six recorded crimes.

In response, PCC David Jamieson and regional partners are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to ensure funding for domestic abuse services matches demand.

Mr Jamieson is also asking for long term funding to be put into place for his Violence Reduction Unit and for police officer numbers to return to 2010 levels after years of cuts that have seen the force lose £175m from its budget.

The PCC supports domestic abuse services with funding each year and although the government also lends its support Mr Jamieson says it hasn’t been enough to increase capacity.

“Reports of domestic abuse have been increasing rapidly since restrictions and lockdown began,” said Mr Jamieson.

“Whilst I am pleased to see that victims are coming forward and reporting these crimes, it worries me that the government isn’t providing enough funding so everyone can receive the support they need.

“I am concerned that as we approach the winter and festive period, where there is usually a significant rise in domestic abuse, that our services could be really challenged.”

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