Tackling Domestic Violence and Abuse: A Multi-Agency Approach Delivering Impressive Results

Evelyn Woodland
May 23, 2019

Detective Superintendent Deborah Alderson, Programme Director – ‘Whole System Approach’, Northumbria Police, outlines the multi-agency approach taken to tackle domestic abuse and violence in the North East.

In the North East, we have used Home Office Police Transformation funding to create and implement an innovative approach to tackling domestic abuse and violence – the Whole System Approach.

Led by Northumbria Police, together with Durham, Cleveland, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Humberside, we have worked together as a regional group of six force areas over the last 3 years to develop and embed multi-agency domestic abuse approaches. Working in partnership across criminal justice, civil and family courts, third sector and statutory services, the scheme aims to better support victims and survivors of domestic abuse and crucially, pro-actively target the most harmful and serial perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

We have achieved some fantastic results, including a 65% reduction in re-offending of domestic abuse perpetrators targeted through our Multi-Agency Tasking and Coordination (MATAC) process. We believe this work is critical in preventing domestic abuse, tackling perpetrators who are the cause of this trauma and abuse, and is now to be shared nationally, with the process of developing a digital toolkit for all to access now underway. We will soon be arranging national knowledge sharing events.  

Education To Support Young People

I am also really pleased to tell you about another project funded by the Home Office Children Affected by Domestic Abuse fund - Operation Encompass: The Next Steps.  This is an exciting partnership between Northumbria Police, the Police and Crime Commissioners Office, Barnardo’s and Operation Encompass, developing Personal, Social and Health Education sessions to be delivered in schools by police-employed school safeguarding liaison officers along with teachers, for children and young people aged 4-16 years. 

These education sessions have two aims. Firstly, we want to educate and empower young people to recognise unhealthy relationships and break the cycle of domestic abuse and trauma. Secondly, we want to support children who experience domestic abuse in their home, recognising them as victims in their own right, to allow reflection on the harm and damage caused by this extremely damaging and adverse childhood experience.

Our Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, has led these projects and is now about to move into the role of Victim’s Commissioner where she will continue her unwavering support for victims of domestic abuse and ensure this important work is recognised.

I am very excited to be speaking at this event alongside some other fantastic contributors and I am looking forward to sharing the work we have being doing in the North East through Home Office Police Transformation funding, to achieve a Whole System Approach to Domestic Abuse.


Find out more at the 6th Annual VAWG Forum