Repeated domestic violence is curbed

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Wigan has one of the lowest rates in the region for repeat cases of domestic abuse, according to a new town hall report.

Council officers looking to crack down on crime say the figures are proof the borough’s support services are effective in protecting victims.

However, the number of incidents remains high with between 7,000 to 7,500 per year, with around 600 reports per month.

The statistics form part of a report set to go before the council’s health and social committee this week.

It details the town hall’s action plan to target domestic violence for 2017.

The rate of “repeat victimisation” in the borough stands at 25 per cent which is described as “a very positive picture as it clearly demonstrates confidence amongst staff and victims to report and ask for support.

“And once support is received, the number of repeat victims remains low.”

The report also reveals that Wigan borough utilises Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) more than any other authority in Greater Manchester although the exact figures have been withheld.

Introduced in 2014, DVPOs allow police officers and magistrates’ courts - working alongside local authorities - to impose protective measures in the immediate aftermath of domestic violence incidents.

They can, for example, prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days.

In December, the council was commended for its role in tackling the scourge of domestic violence.

Along with partners Greater Manchester Police and the DIAS charity it was granted White Ribbon status.

Actions Wigan Council and its partners had to carry out to achieve the award include: having domestic abuse awareness training for all frontline staff and ensuring there is a strategy in place to provide adequate housing and community support services for women and children experiencing/fleeing domestic violence.

Leader Lord Smith and deputy leader Coun David Molyneux are among two of the town hall’s male ambassadors who have helped the borough achieve White Ribbon Town accreditation.

Coun Molyneux said: “It is vital that we take a stand against domestic violence in the borough and we reduce the number of victims who are suffering.

“I would urge men to join the White Ribbon campaign and show that domestic violence will not be tolerated.”

The report concludes that combined working with partner agencies remains a priority when it comes to reducing incidents even further.

It reads: “Building on the good practice and achievements to date, we must ensure that the co-ordinated community response model is embedded within the various parts of our transformational work.”

Det Insp Nathan Percival, who leads on tackling domestic abuse in Wigan borough for Greater Manchester Police, said: “Wigan has one of the largest amounts of volume of domestic abuse across the Greater Manchester area, with over 7,000 incidents a year.

“I want to call out to friends and families of those who are being abused to assist them and help them to get the support that they deserve.”