Agenda item

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS SERVICES: EXTENSION OF CONTRACT

Minutes:

The Sub-Committee considered a report seeking authorisation to apply the formal extension option to the contract with Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid for the delivery of a range of support services to women and girls at risk of, or who had suffered, domestic violence, at an estimated cost of £179k, subject to confirmation of the supporting grant.  The Contract commenced in June 2017 at an annual value of £179k.  The contract was due to end in March 2019 and had a formal one year extension option.

 

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 placed a statutory requirement on local authorities to monitor the level of domestic abuse in their communities and establish partnerships, in order to reduce the problem as well as work together with other agencies to highlight the issue and coordinate a response.  Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) came into effect on 13 April 2011.  They were established on a statutory basis under Section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004).  The Safer Bromley Partnership had the responsibility for establishing domestic homicide reviews within Bromley.

 

VAWG services were commissioned and approved by the Executive on 14th September 2016, to deliver an Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocate (IDSVA) service, Community Domestic Abuse Projects and a Perpetrator Program. These services were delivered through a single contract of two years (2017/18 to 2018/19), with an option to extend for one more year (2019/20).  These services were funded by MOPAC as part of the London Crime Prevention Fund (LCPF).  The LCPF also funded projects across Community Safety.  In Bromley there were 13 victims per 10,000 of the local population in terms of recorded domestic offences from September 2016 to September 2017. This equated to 4426. There had been an increasing prevalence of incidents in Bromley.

 

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Head of Early Intervention and Family Support confirmed that an announcement about MOPAC Funding was expected in the next month however it was likely that any funding would be for two years.

 

It was noted that the increase in the number of referrals for domestic violence was concerning, especially in light of the fact that it was acknowledged that most victims of domestic violence did not report the first 30 instances of violence.  The Head of Early Intervention and Family Support confirmed that Early Intervention services were used to support families and provide an opportunity to refer instances of domestic violence.  It was hoped that in the long run this would reduce the burden on the contract.

 

A Member suggested that affected parties needed to be encouraged to pursue issues through the Court and that when the contract was re-tendered KPIs around encouraging individuals to approach the Police at an earlier stage should be included.  Whilst acknowledging the points that were being made the Head of Early Intervention and Family Support highlighted that the current emphasis was on making victims feel safe however, when the tender documentation was being drawn up the KPIs would be reviewed.  Members noted that as the market was robust they were hopeful that there would be a good response to the tendering exercise.

 

Members requested that the revised VAWG Strategy was presented to the Sub-Committee when it was available.

 

Action Point 4: that the revised VAWG Strategy was presented to the Sub-Committee when it was available.

 

RESOLVED: The Portfolio Holder be recommended to:

1) Approve a twelve month extension commencing 1st April 2019 at a cost of £179,000 with a total contract value of £516,000, subject to confirmation of the supporting grant.

2) Note that a Gate 1 report will be drafted in the first quarter of 2019 outlining the future long term approach of this contract.


 

 

 

 

Supporting documents:

 

Original Text: