HC Deb 18 December 2000 vol 360 cc62-3W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures(a) have been and (b) are planned to be taken to (i) reduce the level of domestic violence and (ii) strengthen support for victims of domestic violence; and if he will make a statement. [142608]

Mr. Boateng

Since 1997, the Government have undertaken a broad range of measures to reduce the level of domestic violence and strengthen support for victims. Significantly, a £7 million violence against women initiative within the Crime Reduction Programme is designed to evaluate the most effective and cost-effective interventions.

Other recent measures include: the issue of multi-agency guidance to agencies dealing with domestic violence and of specific guidance to Health Service professionals; the issue of a new Home Department circular to the police; the inclusion of domestic violence within police Best Value performance indicators; the provision of £120 million additional capital funding for a new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund for specified vulnerable groups, including the survivors of domestic violence; and, increased funding for Victim Support.

Other current initiatives include work with the Association of Chief Police Officers on a circular on effective use of provisions in the Protection from Harassment Act; the evaluation of probation service domestic violence perpetrator programmes; the development of a domestic violence toolkit on the Home Department's crime reduction website; planned research on possible future publicity work; and the inclusion in the British Crime Survey 2001 of a special module on domestic violence.