REPORT OF CABINET MEMBER FOR CRIME, SUSTAINABILITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES

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1 REPORT OF CABINET MEMBER FOR CRIME, SUSTAINABILITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICES Executive Response to Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission Review into Domestic Violence Cabinet: 23 January 2012 Council: 25 January 2012 Classification Public Ward(s) affected All Enclosures 1. INTRODUCTION 1.1 Domestic violence accounts for nearly 20% of all recorded crime in Hackney. The Council is committed to tackling domestic violence and will continue to prioritise this as an area in the challenging financial circumstances we face. This report demonstrates the importance of providing the right services at the right time. We will continue working with all our partners and the criminal justice system to raise awareness of, inform and support victims of domestic violence. We are also learning from other boroughs to inform and enhance our services for victims as well as extending our services to reach male, LGBT and disabled victims. 1.2 This report highlights the real need for high quality effective services in Hackney. The council is committed to delivering these services and supporting the victims of domestic violence. I am grateful for the scrutiny commission for undertaking this review and am committed to ensuring that its recommendations are implemented. 2. RECOMMENDATION 2.1 Cabinet are asked to approve the content of this response.

2 3. EXECUTIVE RESPONSE TO SCRUTINY COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS Appendix B Recommendation Response Recommendation One The Commission requests the Safer Cleaner Partnership Board to work with agencies such as Respect to explore how non-mandated perpetrator programmes might be re-instated and developed further. The Domestic Violence (DV) service already makes referrals to Respect which is an organisation which supports perpetrator programmes. However, the Domestic Violence Sub-Group of the Safer Cleaner Partnership Board is aware that further work is required to develop non-mandated perpetrator programmes and is currently exploring options, in which value for money will be paramount. In addition, the Council s DV Support Team and the Council s Children and Young People s Safeguarding Team are exploring options for working with fathers as perpetrators of DV. A spot-purchasing agreement for this is currently being negotiated with the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP). Recommendation Two The Commission requests The Learning Trust to work with the DV Team to encourage and support Head Teachers in the provision of high quality domestic and gender violence preventative programmes in schools and colleges and it requests The Learning Trust to explore how the routes into schools for this information might be improved. The Learning Trust and the Council s Domestic Violence Support Team already work closely through the Children s and Young People s Sub Group, which is part of the Domestic Violence Policy and Operational Group (DVPO). There is a programme of work which has already started to engage more schools in raising awareness of DV. The programme includes awareness-raising of the need to include Domestic Violence issues in the Sex & Relationship Education (SRE) curriculum offer and using existing communication networks; e.g. Head teacher and Governor forums and The Bulletin, which is a weekly e-newsletter available to Head Teachers and the wider school community. Focusing on informing Head Teachers and Governors will raise the awareness of issues associated with Domestic Violence at a strategic level. The Learning Trust is also working closely with partners through the Sexual Exploitation working group. The contribution of The Learning Trust to this group is focused on, but not limited to, the development of Sex and Relationships Education Resources and activities in schools; this includes the specific issue of Domestic Violence.

3 Additional funds from the Early Intervention Grant (EIG) are being made available to schools this year to deliver SRE activities and programmes with approved providers. These activities will be planned with advice from The Learning Trust; the activities will incorporate information, advice and guidance on domestic violence but will not be exclusively focused on domestic violence. Funding has also recently been awarded from the EIG to three secondary schools to develop specific Sex and Relationships Education projects working closely with police and NIA, an organisation which delivers services to end violence to women and children, to include the specific issue of Domestic Violence. These will be monitored via The Learning Trust. Recommendation Three The Commission requests the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board (CHSCB) to explore how well targeted interventions for young people aged who have or are experiencing domestic violence can be developed. The Commission notes that year olds are averse to being treated under CYP Services and asks the Board to work with Hackney Borough Police to address how this cohort can best be reached. Learning from best practice elsewhere, such creating a Junior MARAC should also be explored. Options for improving services to young people at risk of violence and exploitation, including through association with gangs, are already being explored through the sexual exploitation working group of the CHSCB. Provision and identification of gaps in services are also being coordinated through this group. Young Hackney s triage process is also linked to the Domestic Violence support team. Further exploration of appropriate identification of, and responses to, partner violence in this age group is already part of the work plan for the Children and Young People s sub-group of the Domestic Violence Policy Operational Group (DVPO) and Young Hackney will be actively involved in these discussions. The sub-group is aware of Junior Multi Agency Risk Agency Conference (MARAC) being piloted in other boroughs and is keen to explore this as an option for Hackney. Links will be made with Lewisham, who currently operate a Junior MARAC, and there will be liaison with Waltham Forest Council who are also exploring the development of similar arrangements. The Police are members of the Children and Young People s Partnership Panel (CYPPP) steering group and are also represented at a senior level on the CHSCB. They will be fully involved in discussions about responses to this

4 group of young people. Hackney Police Community Safety Unit is also linked to children s social care and child protection services. Recommendation Four The Commission requests the DV Team to work more closely with key council departments including Children and Young People Social Care to ensure that there is greater awareness of the DV care pathways available in the borough. The Council s Domestic Violence Support Team and Children s Social Care Services currently work closely together at operational level, and there are referral protocols in place as well as training support provided by the DV support team to operational staff. It is however accepted that working practices would benefit from being strengthened in relation to carer support and both the Domestic Violence Support Team and Children s Social Care Services are developing an action plan in relation to carer support pathways. This work will then be monitored by the DV Sub Group and the DV Policy and Operational Group (DVPO) whose membership includes Children s Services. The DV support team works closely on a case by case basis with Hackney Homes, Adult Social Care Services, The Learning Trust and Children s Social Care Services and also provides training support for front-line staff in DV issues. To increase the understanding of DV issues, in 2012 training will be rolled out to Hackney Service Centre front-line reception staff and Hackney Homes front-line reception staff. The training will be evaluated by staff and a mystery shopping exercise will be organised for Housing Needs staff. The results of these evaluations will then be monitored by the DV Sub Group and further training opportunities will be identified. Recommendation Five The Commission recommends to the DV Team that all support staff working in early intervention services receive better training to ensure they have the skills and confidence to support families and individuals where domestic violence is an issue A training programme is being developed through the Training and Development Sub-Group of the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board and involves The Learning Trust amongst other partner agencies and an update can be provided to a future CSSI The CHSCB is currently negotiating with Against Violence Abuse (AVA) to deliver three workshops targeted at the early intervention/preventative services workforce between April and October

5 2012. These will focus on: - how to identify children and families at risk of DV - how to support safety planning and encourage parents and children to access local services - how to work with intimate partner violence in adolescent relationships. In addition the DV Support Team provides training support to the midwifery and A&E departments at Homerton Hospital. Recommendation Six The Commission recommends that a mystery shopping type exercise should be considered in Housing Needs as a way of ensuring that procedures are actually being followed through and that greater attention is paid to diversity awareness in this training. This training should also address male victims of DV as well as elders, disabled and LGBT victims. A comprehensive training plan will be produced for Housing Needs and Customer Services staff following discussions with the Domestic Violence Team for Housing Needs. The training will aim to provide guidance on the various aspects of domestic violence, the type of supporting mechanisms available and include ways to assist victims, including male, disabled and LGBT victims. As well as how to identify possible unreported victims of domestic violence. Officers are to conduct a mystery shopping exercise by June 2012, following the execution of the training programme. This will be used to gauge the success of the training programme and identify any further training requirements. Feedback following this mystery shopping exercise can be bought to a future Scrutiny Commission. Recommendation Seven The Commission requests the Cabinet Member for Housing to work with ELHP to ensure greater sign up by Hackney based RSLs to the East London Domestic Violence Reciprocal Arrangement. The Housing Director and Deputy Mayor will work with Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and their partners, to ensure maximum sign-up of these organisations to the Reciprocal Agreement. They will use their roles as co-chairs for the Better Homes Partnership (BHP) to ensure RSLs members of the BHP are aware and sign up to the agreement. They will also ensure that reasons for the relatively low level of engagement of specialist housing providers of services to BME communities are identified and addressed. Both actions will be included in the service plans for the Housing Directorate

6 Recommendation Eight The Commission requests the Safer Cleaner Partnership Board to work with Hackney Women s Forum to explore how community organisations which work with women from BME communities in the borough can be supported, through training or otherwise, to encourage greater reporting of domestic violence. This approach also needs to be extended to embrace organisations which work with the disabled and the LGBT community. Lead officers from the Domestic Violence Sub Group of the Safer Cleaner Partnership Board (SCPB) will meet with the lead individual from Hackney Women s Forum (HWF), to discuss how to work with organisations which work with the BME, disabled and LGBT communities to encourage greater reporting of domestic violence. HWF are very knowledgeable regarding domestic violence and will be able to provide advice regarding the types of support they require whether training or otherwise and how this can best be delivered. Having these initial conversations will provide the DV sub group with primary actions and these actions can be agreed and monitored at the DV Sub Group meetings, which are held quarterly. Actions agreed at the DV Sub Group in relation to recommendation will then be reported to the SCPB. These actions can also be bought to a future Scrutiny Commission. Recommendation Nine The Commission requests the DV Team to examine with partners how victims might be given the sustained support necessary to ensure they see a prosecution through to its conclusion Hackney Council and Tower Hamlets Council jointly fund the post of a co-ordinator to manage Domestic Violence cases through a Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC). Support for victims is provided through having Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) available at the Court. Bench and witness support is available from the Witness Care Unit and Witness Support, before, during and after the court hearing. IDVAs will coordinate the necessary advice and support for the victim on the lead up to and following the court case. Victims will also be assessed for free childcare and transport provisions for attendance at Court. The SDVC has seen increasing levels of prosecution since its establishment in October Furthermore, the Council s DV team is being trained to manage high risk cases which will involve supporting and guiding victims through the court process. The Casework Team will ensure victims receive advice; information; and advocacy and will engage proactively in multi-

7 agency work to help victims of DV and their children live violence free lives and to support them through the Court process. Depending on the level of risk victims may be offered support for re-housing or refuge provisions. Following court proceedings, MARAC monitor the release of perpetrators and cases are bought back to MARAC to assess the level of risk, following release. The Council is committed to this and the SDVC will extend to four Boroughs including Newham and Waltham Forest in The processes put in place will continue to be monitored to ensure the number of prosecutions seen through to conclusion are maximised. Recommendation Ten The Commission requests Hackney Borough Police to report on the steps it has recently taken to ensure that named individuals at an appropriately senior level from each partner agency regularly attend the MARAC and that a MARAC Co-ordinator is firmly established in place A MARAC Coordinator was appointed on 12 th September 2011 on a secondment basis and the London Borough of Hackney considers this a priority post. Match funding for this post is provided from the Home Office and is available until March Funding will continue to be provided from the Home Office subject to a satisfactory report from Hackney in April 2012 and the availability of match funding from Hackney. The MARAC Coordinator has established new membership of the MARAC and members include the police, DAAT, Mental Health Services, Housing, The Learning Trust, DV team, IDVA, Probation, Victim Support. New draft Terms of Reference and a new referral form have also been established. The MARAC is chaired by the police, at Detective Inspector level and the MARAC Steering Group is also being established to oversee the quality assurance recommendations and compliance issues, including monitoring attendance. The first meeting will be 25 th January Recommendation Eleven (a) The Commission requests the Head of Safer Communities, together with Hackney Borough Police, to work with the central Metropolitan Police Team, (who have overall responsibility for The Head of Safer Communities has requested and will receive an update from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) imminently regarding the central plans for wider community safety messages within the Park Zone, which can be

8 policing the Olympic Park) to ensure that information is clear to all visitors to the Olympic Park that prostitution, trafficking and sexual exploitation will not be tolerated. (b) The Commission also requests the Chief Officer of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to demonstrate to the Commission how his team will be working with all the appropriate agencies to ensure that contingencies are in place to ensure that access to public services (e.g. the Specialist Domestic Violence Court) for vulnerable residents during Games times can be maintained. provided to a future Scrutiny Commission. The Head of Safer Communities is committed to working closely with the Hackney Borough Police and Metropolitan Police in regards to the issues of sexual exploitation; prostitution; and trafficking during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Council recognises the potential impact and implications to services during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Council s 2012 team are working with local partners and public sector bodies to share knowledge and solutions to meet the challenges that Service areas may be faced with. Service areas are also looking at their own operations and are considering risks that may arise as a result of the Games. The Doing the Day Job Board (DTDJ) whose membership consists of senior officers, has been organised specifically to look at the services of the London Borough of Hackney and Partners; to ensure that they are able to continue providing services to residents through the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Service planning, including access to the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC), is being lead by the respective teams. The Courts Service is currently developing plans regarding opening hours and Court locations to ensure this service is still available during Games time. The 2012 Day Job team is also offering support to vulnerable residents during Games time by: Providing support to Adult Social Care division managers to help prepare for the Games. Services are considering how they may need to adapt their service to the challenges of Games Time. Working with the East London and City Olympic Planning Group and briefing their various forums helping them to understand the Games Time environment Connecting with the NHS East London and the City 2012 Programme Group and the NHS London 2012 Planning Group on both of which the Corporate Director of Health and Community Services is involved. There is also a communications plan to ensure staff, partners, businesses and residents will have the right information at the right time to help them with planning for the games.

9 Lead Councillor: Director: Appendix A Cllr Sophie Linden, Cabinet member for Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services Ian Lewis, Assistant Chief Executive Policy and Partnerships Report of the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Commission Review into Domestic Violence

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