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After successfully securing funding, the PCC and partners are rolling out a vital domestic abuse programme in Herefordshire to make victims and survivors safer.

In November 2020, Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion was awarded funding to specifically roll out the perpetrator programme ‘Drive’ in the county of Herefordshire. This programme works to change the narrative in domestic abuse so, instead of asking of the victim ‘why did you stay?’, the onus is placed on the perpetrator and the question asked is ‘why didn’t you stop?’.

The area of Herefordshire was chosen as it was the largest area of demand outside of Worcestershire, which has been running the programme since 2018.

PCC John Campion said: “Putting victims and survivors first is something I will continue to strive for, which is why extending Drive into another part of West Mercia to tackle domestic abuse is so important. There needs to be this shift in focus towards those that are committing the abuse. If we’re ever going to reduce the number, and severity, of domestic abuse incidences then we need to target the source and get to the root problem.

“The further this programme spreads across West Mercia, the more chance we have of closing in on those who move from one partner to the next inflicting emotional and physical abuse. I am pleased that we had the opportunity to get Drive up and running, and I’m very much looking forward to working with the many partners involved to see this become a success.”

Kyla Kirkpatrick, Director of Drive, said: “We warmly welcome Herefordshire as the latest area to deliver Drive alongside a growing network of Drive commissioning and delivery partners across England and Wales. Over the past few years, we have worked closely with Drive partners in Worcestershire, including the West Mercia PCC John Campion, Cranstoun, Worcestershire County Council, and West Mercia Women’s Aid – we are looking forward to continuing to build upon this committed and forward-looking partnership as delivery expands into Herefordshire. Together, we are working to make victims and survivors safer by responding to perpetrators of domestic abuse.”

Charlie Mack, Chief Executive, Cranstoun, said: “The extension of the Worcestershire Drive Programme into Herefordshire is an important step in supporting victims and challenging perpetrator behaviour. Cranstoun, as service provider, is delighted to work with our partners to deliver Drive in Herefordshire. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to live healthy, safe and happy lives. By working with the perpetrators to enable positive change we can protect victims and children from experiencing abuse.”

“Perpetrator programmes are essential to working towards ending domestic abuse. Working with survivors is our main focus, but to irradiate domestic abuse we need to go to the source, by working with the perpetrator we are making them accountable for their actions, challenging their behaviour and supporting them to change their actions. We advocate for survivors everywhere and work hard to make sure their voice will always be at the forefront of how domestic abuse services are managed. 81% of survivors agree that it is important to work with perpetrators to change their behaviour.”

Councillor Pauline Crockett, Herefordshire Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Wellbeing, said: “Herefordshire Council is delighted to be part of bringing the DRIVE domestic abuse perpetrator programme to Herefordshire. We look forward to working with the police and other partners to ensure positive outcomes for adults and children affected by domestic abuse.”

Issued on: Tuesday 2nd March 2021