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Hampshire makes unannounced calls to domestic abusers

Hampshire has partnered with The Hampton Trust for Project Foundation to help them manage and monitor repeat domestic abusers.

In January 2021, Hampshire piloted Project Foundation in Southampton and Eastleigh, but it has now been rolled out across the whole force area. 

The project has been funded by the Home Office and aims to identify and manage repeat perpetrators of physical and sexual abuse. There is a focus on perpetrators who have committed abuse in settings where children are present and where the force had not been able to charge. 

Police data is used to identify perpetrators who will then be managed by Neighbourhood-based High Harm Teams. 

Under the project, officers will make unannounced visits, as well as offering diversion through behavioural change and support programmes. 

Perpetrators are identified through a scoring system - a priority perpetrator identification tool - which is managed through a partner agency to eliminate any police bias. 

Acting Inspector AI Dineley on the Southampton High Harm Team said : “For many years police has focussed on safeguarding victims, this change in focus is working alongside that safeguarding in order to pursue perpetrators of domestic abuse and change their offending behaviour. 

“What we are finding on these visits to high risk perpetrators of harm is on many occasions they do identify their own behaviour and they are willing to seek support. And that’s when we are able to make referrals through to Hampton Trust. 

“Where they’re not capable of doing that or willing to do that, the police will bring a focus around measures to control, catch and convict them for any offences they may be committing.” 

Detective Chief Inspector David West, Head of Offender Management and lead for Domestic Abuse perpetrator response said: “We know that a large number of domestic abuse cases are not prosecuted due to the incredibly complex nature of the circumstances that have usually occurred in the privacy of a home.

“A victim may have suffered for years before having the confidence to report their abuser, so it’s enormously important that policing responds when it is revealed, by providing effective ongoing help for victims and intervention for the perpetrator.

“When we do not have sufficient evidence to prosecute but we know incidents are happening and someone is suffering, Project Foundation allows us to be relentless at going after abusers by disrupting their behaviour and offering long term change with the help and support of our partners.

“Our results will be seen in those who begin to engage with behaviour change programmes, the reduction of offending and I hope, the increased confidence of victims who have suffered so terribly.”

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