HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc794-5W
20. David Wright

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he intends to reduce domestic violence in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [57067]

Mr. Denham

The Home Office and the Women's Unit jointly published the policy document "Living without Fear: an integrated approach to tackling violence against women" in June 1999. The document set out the Government's goals for tackling violence against women which include:

  • to reduce crimes of violence against women and fear of violence as measured by the British Crime Survey;
  • to help today's children grow up in a society where violence is not part of family life and relationships are built on greater mutual respect; and
  • within five years to see effective multi-agency partnerships operating throughout England and Wales, drawing on good practice demonstrated in the mentioned publication.

Within the last two years we have also issued new multi-agency guidance on dealing with domestic violence, specific guidance to Health Service professionals and a new Home Office circular to the police which has been widely welcomed.

We have provided £120 million additional capital funding for a new Safer Communities Supported Housing Fund and increased funding for Victim Support. Over £10 million has been provided for a violence against women initiative within the Crime Reduction Programme to help us identify what interventions in what circumstances are the most effective and cost-effective.

In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State (Mr. Denham) chairs a Ministerial group on domestic violence involving representatives from seven key departments which is working closely together to consider the development and implementation of preventative strategies to address domestic violence. The group has highlighted five areas for priority action as follows:

  • Early intervention by Health Practitioners
  • Enhanced Criminal and Civil Jurisdiction Interface
  • Increasing safe accommodation choices for women and children Education and awareness training
  • Ensuring an appropriate and consistent police and Crown Prosecution Service response.

Margaret Moran

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will review the one year concession in immigration rules in relation to domestic violence. [58596]

Beverley Hughes

We are currently in the process of reviewing the domestic violence concession.