Posted: Sat 25th Jun 2016

Police And Crime Commissioner For South Wales Police, Alun Michael, Welcomes Minister’s Support

This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jun 25th, 2016

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police, Alun Michael, has welcomed today’s comments by Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Michael said: “The Chief Constable, Peter Vaughan, and I have made tackling Violence against women and girls a high priority, with a joint strategic review leading to the Action Plan which we have agreed and which we review annually. The Minister’s comments provide an important endorsement of the approach we are taking. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“What becomes clearer as time passes is that Violence Against Women and Girls includes a wide range of abuse and tackling these crimes is a priority because the impact can be devastating, long lasting and even fatal. The impact falls very heavily on the women who are directly affected, but also on their children, their families and their friends. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We have a clear plan to tackle violence against women and girls, with three key aims; to improve identification and intervention; to develop a victim-centred approach and to encourage prevention and early intervention. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Our Action Plan reflects the objectives of the landmark legislation here in Wales which has brought about the Violence Against Women and Girls, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act which helps public services to focus on what we can do to identify abuse sooner, tackle it more effectively, and to increase victims and their children’s safety through providing better access to services and support. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Among some notable achievements is establishment of the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) model, a general practice-based domestic abuse and sexual violence training and referral programme. This model is already proving effective in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan where the programme was launched with the health board in November 2014. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“To date, we have completed the first phase of training with almost 340 staff and over 100 GPs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“As a result, by the middle of last month (May 2016), 133 referrals have been made to specialist advocates, with these victims of domestic abuse now having access to the care and support they might otherwise have missed out on. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Following the success of the initial launch, the IRIS model was launched in the Cwm Taf area of south Wales in November 2015, and a similar programme will be introduced in partnership with higher education. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Since training began in Cwm Taf in January 2016, 58 patients have been referred by GPs to the IRIS advocates in this area up to the middle of the May. Of these, 53% are first time disclosures, with the referral rate continuing to rise. Early identification can lead to early intervention and giving women the support they need before things go from bad to worse. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I’m delighted that there has been such a positive response to our work with GPs and hospital based staff in identifying and supporting victims of domestic violence. It’s not just that much of the demand faced by our police officers today involves responding to families and individuals experiencing these kind of adversities, it’s that a proactive approach can prevent much of the misery that is caused. By putting early intervention and joint working in the heart of the new Police and Crime Plan for South Wales, we want to ensure that our officers are part of an action to intervene earlier and more effectively.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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