THE recruitment of seven new vulnerability coordinators will provide a dedicated response to reduce the amount of domestic violence incidents across Staffordshire.
The vulnerability coordinators will be responsible for the planning and coordination of local multi agency safeguarding meetings, known as MARACs, across the Neighbourhood Policing teams.
Until recently, the MARAC meetings were conducted by a central team but local trial sites at Newcastle and Tamworth have paved the way for the force to roll out local conferences across the force.
The meetings will be chaired by local Commanders and colleagues from partner agencies with a collaborative approach ensuring there’s a greater understanding of the risk of domestic violence within the community – allowing agencies to tackle it in the most effective way.
The new coordinators, alongside other members of Staffordshire Police, will work with local partners to identify the root causes of domestic abuse and provide new solutions to build resilience and improve the lives of domestic abuse victims and their families.
Head of Local Policing at Staffordshire Police, Superintendent Tom Chisholm said: “Domestic abuse affects a large proportion of the community so effective multi agency work is essential to tackle the root causes of the issues. We have had several colleagues from statutory and third sector agencies volunteer to become MARAC chairs, this is a really positive step and will allow us to build even greater local partnership working to address all areas of vulnerability”.
Chief Inspector for Stoke South, Karen Stevenson, chaired their first meeting recently and said: “We’re really proud to be one of the first within the force to deliver this local service – especially in the city where we know we have a real diverse and complicated areas within our boundaries.
“I’m really looking forward to working with local partners to best protect our communities and deliver the support that so many people need – including working with specific perpetrator programmes so that we can look at diverting repeat offenders to the necessary outlets.
“We’ll look to meet on a week by week basis and that gives us the opportunity to hear and resolve incidents in a timely fashion.”
Domestic Abuse Assurance Officer at Staffordshire Police, Jenna Bradbury said: “At every meeting we hold we’re fully aware that we can’t see the complete life of a victim – especially in the current pandemic.
“However, agencies that we will work with strive to work tirelessly to protect the safeguarding of victims and their families and ensure their voices are heard and not forgotten.
“If they need help then victims can phone police on 999 or 101 or they can refer themselves to domestic abuse services such as New Era.”