At the official UK Public Sector Transformation Awards, Sussex Police received recognition for their work with the ‘High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme’, an initiative backed by Interventions Alliance, part of the employee owned Seetec Group, through its partnership with the force to tackle, for example, stalking as part of the Compulsive and Obsessive Behaviour Intervention (COBI).
Interventions Alliance works closely with the force to deliver targeted, tested and proven psychological therapy in an attempt to break perpetrators patterns of offending.
The force was awarded a Silver Award for Community Focus, which was picked up by Detective Inspector Lee Horner and his colleagues. This highlighted the work Sussex Police does with partners, such as Interventions Alliance, to tackle all forms of domestic abuse in the county.
Interventions Alliance has a range of experience in the criminal justice system and works intensively with perpetrators to understand what triggers their behaviours to support forces like Sussex Police to cut crime. The focus recently has been on domestic abuse and stalking, crimes that saw a reported increase during the pandemic.
Carl Hall, Deputy Director of Community Development at Interventions Alliance, said: “Sussex Police continues to make a difference in the criminal justice system when it comes to confronting domestic abuse – the award is recognition of that. This year’s UK Public Sector Transformation Awards was an opportunity to highlight what forces, like Sussex Police, are doing to tackle what is a complex crime that leaves a mental and physical impact.
“My colleagues and I at Interventions Alliance work alongside Sussex Police on the rehabilitation of domestic abuse perpetrators, so we see first-hand the work police officers do as part of a holistic approach that focuses on keeping communities safe. We’re proud to be a part of the overall initiative through the ‘High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme’. This is part of an approach that aims to work with perpetrators and victims to build positive engagement to help build a pathway towards more healthy relationships in the future.
“Sussex Police has spearheaded an intervention that directly complements the Government’s new Domestic Abuse Plan, which is committed to investing in ways to address perpetrators behaviour. We look forward to building on the existing partnership with Sussex Police to prevent more people becoming victims of domestic abuse and help more perpetrators to break away from the behaviour that led to the decisions they made in their past.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am delighted that the funding I secured has allowed Sussex Police, working in conjunction with my office, to establish the High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Unit. This has enabled officers to take a proactive approach to identifying offenders and protecting and helping victims and I am especially pleased to see this innovation acknowledged in the Public Sector Transformation Awards.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland said: “The High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme was established as a pilot scheme in March 2021. The delivery team responsible for managing perpetrators through this programme is a multi-agency collaboration of dedicated professionals involving Interventions Alliance. “They challenge the harm generated by the most serious domestic abusers who are ineligible for probation service attention. Working with abusers and victims, the team seeks to positively engage with clients to tackle the most pervasive issues undermining efforts to engage in healthy relationships.
“The team works together addressing mental health, substance misuse and provides a framework to support healthy relationships and reduce the long-term harm of domestic abuse.”
Steve Rayland added: “We identified that lockdown presented issues for domestic abuse victims. Access to services and support networks were affected with victims often locked in with their abusers and sometimes vulnerable due to ill health. It became clear traditional methods of engaging with victims were not always suitable. We took the innovative approach of starting to offer victims reporting abuse a video appointment with specialist domestic abuse officers, though only where the need was not urgent. This allows for victims to engage with the police even if shielding or unable to leave the house for other reasons. This quickly became the preferred option, with high victim satisfaction levels.”