Blogs > March 2014
26th March 2014
Murder, or homicide, remains a shocking crime to all of us and one that has devastating consequences for the family and friends for those bereaved in such circumstances.
I am sure that we would all agree that it is vital that those bereaved through homicide should be adequately and appropriately supported to help them come to terms with their loss and to move forward with their lives. National charities such as Support After Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM) - http://www.samm.org.uk/ - and Mothers Against Murder And Aggression (MAMAA) - http://www.mamaa.org/ - do valuable work in this area.
It was therefore extremely concerning to learn recently that the Government is planning to withdraw the funding provided to agencies currently providing support to families that have suffered bereavement by homicide before 2010. To my mind it is absolutely essential that the on-going support needs of these families are met.
Following a meeting with the Policing Minister on Tuesday, the indication was that PCCs would now be expected to assess and meet the needs of these bereaved families. This is extremely problematic, not least because it will require 41 separate PCCs to assess local need and to commission services for what will be a relatively small (albeit extremely important) cohort of families.
Given my understanding that to provide this service nationally would only cost an additional £250,000 more than is currently allocated I am calling on the Government to rethink this withdrawal of funding and have written to the Policing Minister accordingly – a copy of my letter to the Rt Hon Damian Green MP is attached below:
Letter to Rt Hon Damian Green MP re Homicide Victim Funding
Existing national charities must be allowed to continue with their excellent work in this area without fragmenting services and PCC’s should not be burdened with this responsibility which can be co-ordinated much more effectively at a national level and at relatively low cost in the grand scheme of victim support funding.
Posted by Martyn Underhill at 1:02pm
10th March 2014
Tackling domestic violence is a key priority.
I welcome the adoption of Clare’s Law which will give people the opportunity to make an educated decision about the future of their relationship. It will also strengthen the framework around the release of information about the violent past of partners. This is a valuable tool in our work to pre-empt domestic violence.
In my manifesto, I made a promise to the people of Dorset, that if I was elected I would bring Clare’s Law to Dorset. These new powers will allow people to seek the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy.
Domestic Violence is complex, deep-rooted and societal. It is a huge problem and one that we need to address very seriously at every level.
Clare’s Law will give people the right to ask the police if their partner has a history of serial domestic violence and also give the police the option of making a disclosure about any previous incidents. Clare’s Law will not just protect adults from abuse, but children also. Domestic Violence is devastating for families and the damage is far reaching.
I look forward to seeing the evaluation of Clare’s Law in Dorset and I hope that the new powers will give people more confidence to seek help if they believe they are at risk from harm.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner
Posted by Martyn Underhill at 11:13am