Agenda item

Victim Support Update


  • 90% of victim support referrals come through police through the police and 10% from MARAC
  • When refferals comes into IDVAS and then we have a look at the high risk we split the service between the high risk service and the medium risk.
  • As a trend for domestic violence victims is we're seeing a lot of young people (16-24 year olds) coming into our services and they do present with either mental health issues or drug and alcohol.
  • The IDVAS service is funded by MOPAC and currently is in contract for another 2 years – this is hopefully to be extended.
  • There is currently a project underway that reaches out to women who are difficult to engage with across the tri-borough and this is largely due to victims not reporting their abuse.
  • It is also difficult to engage with young people and getting them into the IDVAS services.



David Lingard noted that he did reach out to Victim Support about six months ago to enquire around how the new Antisocial behaviour team could help support the boroughs victims. David Lingard said he would reach out again.


Alexandra responded that there is also a hate crime unit within victim support, a homicide unit, a young people unit and an IDVAS service. So there’s different types of units that the council can link up with and it would be useful to have a conversation around how to collate information and increase partnership working.


Gary Jones noted that the new Community Safety Team is small in size but there is opportunity to support with outreach, particularly with the new brand in that we've got the gazebos actually getting out within the communities. The council used to do some work specifically on reporting crimes to the police and reporting incidents into the council and we are committed to obviously support these services, our teams across. The Enforcement and regulatory services do come across people that are suffering domestic violence and come across specific incidents and we need to be working more collaboratively in terms of delivering. Angela D’Urso delivered at one of the Enforcement service meetings and presented to 80 members of staff and we want to continue with that narrative and embed this within our services.


Angela D’Urso commented that on a tri-borough, our colleagues in Redbridge and Havering been having conversations with I think an victim support colleague of yours about mapping out those referral pathways and bringing some consistency across that and that as you refer to kind of those pathways in and out and where things are I actually would be great and we can continue those conversations outside of the meeting. Angela D’Urso invites Alexandra Joseph to the

Violence Against Women and Girls strategic group as Victim Support have been invited but the invite has not been reaching the right person. It would be useful if Victim Support would attend the VAWG Strategic group for information sharing and partnership working.


Cllr Ghani questioned how the Victim Support service works with the four domestic violence advocate that work with the council and are there any opportunities for joint working.


Alexandra Joseph responded that Victim Support do work with different advocates such as Refuge, Solace, Womens Aid. Although the service does predominantly work with the police as 90% of the referrals come from there. The service do work with domestic abuse advocates and are seeking to increase linking into other services to signpost our victims too.


Chris Lyons further expanded on Gary Jones’s comment around engaging with young people around victim support. There is a Safe Haven scheme which we recently launched. There are currently over 30 venues in the borough now trained to be safe havens. Safe Havens are  places that residents can approach if they feel that they're in danger or they just need some support. It is useful to acknowledge that someone who's suffering domestic abuse might approach these venues. Chris Lyons also stated that there is some comms work going out and there's a thread particularly aimed towards young people and schools as well as an element of the work which is focused towards adults as well.


Angela D’urso invites Alexandra Joseph to come along to the MARAC steering group as the local Barking and Dagenham data doesn’t show huge numbers of high-risk referrals from victim support and they come from other avenues primarily. This will lend itself into the conversation around expanding pathways and to feed in victim support data into the MARAC Steering Group. 


ACTION – Alexandra Joseph to link in with Clare Brutton outside of the CSP to discuss complexities of IDVAS referrals presenting with drug and alcohol substance misuse.

ACTION – Angela D’Urso to share VAWG Strategic Group meeting invite to Alexandra Joseph.

ACTION – Angela D’Urso to share MARAC Steering Group meeting invite to Alexandra Joseph.


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