New scheme to combat domestic abuse launched in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 13:18 13 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:18 13 March 2017
A new scheme to make schools aware of safeguarding issues when it is believed domestic abuse has occurred at a child’s home is being launched in Hertfordshire.
From today, police in the county will be informing schools within one working day, following a domestic abuse incident within the child’s family where it is deemed there is a risk to the child’s welfare.
The innovative scheme, which will be overseen by Hertfordshire Constabulary’s specialist Domestic Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU), is being started to help ensure the child receives appropriate care and support.
DAISU head, detective chief inspector Ruth Dodsworth said: “After their parents, teachers are usually the adults that spend most time with the child on a day-to-day basis.
“Where appropriate, police will now inform schools if a serious incident has occurred at home.
“This will pave the way for the school to then pay extra attention to that child, or if there are behavioural or learning issues, the school will know more of the context around them and therefore be able to provide suitable care and support.
“If there are any concerns around the child’s welfare that later arise then the school will also be able to take appropriate action.”
She added: “We will be taking a proportionate approach to the reports, so information about minor domestic incidents where no crime has occurred will not be shared with the child’s school.
“However work done in other areas has shown that this kind of information sharing has provided reassurance to victims of domestic abuse, knowing that schools are aware of the child’s home environment.”
DAISU leads the force’s response to domestic abuse and deals with investigations into violence, controlling and coercive behaviour, psychological and financial abuse within intimate relationships.
In 2016, the unit dealt with around 18,500 reports of domestic abuse within intimate relationships and 6,500 crimes, including harassment, assault, stalking and attempted murder.
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