A police chief is “very proud” that a campaign he’s supported will help save the lives of domestic abuse victims in North Wales.
The region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Andy Dunbobbin, says it’s resulted in a change to legislation that means in future domestic abuse and sexual offences will have to treated as seriously as knife crime and homicide cases.
The amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Court Bill will make it a legal duty for local authorities, police forces and other agencies to work together to tackle serious violence.
Along with other PCCs, Mr Dunbobbin worked with the SaveLives pressure group to secure the change to the legislation that’s now been backed by Home Secretary Priti Patel.
According to Mr Dunbobbin, it was an important step towards achieving the “wholesale reform” needed to bring perpetrators to justice whilst protecting adult and child victims and survivors of domestic abuse.
He is also a long-standing ambassador for the White Ribbon charity that’s dedicated to engaging with men and boys to end violence against women and girls.
Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority in the commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan which sets out the blueprint that Chief Constable Carl Foulkes must implement in policing North Wales.
This year alone Mr Dunbobbin has secured an extra £1.4 million in funding to support the work of organisations that provide vital support to abuse victims in North Wales.
Recipients include the Domestic Abuse Safety Unit North Wales, Stepping Stones North Wales, the Sexual Abuse Recovery Centre (SARC), the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (RASASC) North Wales and Gorwel.
Mr Dunbobbin said: “I stood for election because I want to make a real and tangible difference to people’s lives.
“I see protecting and supporting vulnerable people as one of the most important aspect of my role as police and crime commissioner.
“That’s why it is such a high priority in my first Police and Crime Plan that’s delivering on the promises I made in my election manifesto.
“I was proud to support the SaveLives campaign and prouder still that it has resulted in this fundamentally important amendment to the legislation.
“This will undoubtedly result in lives being saved here in North Wales and across the UK by helping victims break free from a cycle of abuse and misery whilst ensuring that perpetrators feel the full force of the law and are punished accordingly.
“The changes to the Bill mean that local authorities, police forces and other agencies must address domestic abuse and sexual violence to the same degree as knife crime and homicide.
“It will require all the relevant agencies to work together to end the scourge of domestic abuse for everyone, for good.
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, said: “It sends a very clear message to victims and survivors that tackling and preventing domestic abuse and sexual violence are top priorities and not optional extras.
“This amendment will ensure there is an early intervention, public health focused approach to tackling serious violent crime.”