Police set up pilot project to tackle domestic abuse in Rotherham

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Men known to repeatedly abuse their partners have been working with the police in Rotherham in a bid to change their ways.

A trained domestic violence officer worked with 17 offenders throughout December in a pilot scheme it is hoped will reduce offending in the town.

South Yorkshire Police said the force received 5,555 reports of domestic abuse in Rotherham over the last year - prompting bosses to introduce the new ‘robust perpetrator management scheme’.

It involved a specialist officer working with offenders to educate them about the consequences of their actions and the impact their behaviour has on their victims and families.

Their cultural behaviour was challenged and individual packages were put together to help them change their ways.

None of the men have yet reoffended.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has asked South Yorkshire Police to roll out the project across the county.

He said: “I am very pleased with the results of the intervention work in Rotherham.

“December is predominantly a time when police receive a higher number of domestic abuse reports.

“It is welcome news that over the festive period, Rotherham officers have found a successful way of stopping the abuse and protecting so many women.

“In my police and crime plan I set out my key priorities, one of which is to protect vulnerable people.

“This year I shall be specifically targeting the protection of women caught up in abusive relationships and will be working closely with organisations that help to stop perpetrators re-offending. This is a big step in the right direction and I hope to see some excellent results across South Yorkshire with the extension of this good work.”

Chief Inspector Ian Womersley said: “The intervention work that officers have put into practice in Rotherham is attracting much interest from other police forces and partnerships.

“As the project expands it should continue to improve the protection of domestic violence victims and their families from abuse.

“Our partners across Rotherham have been key to this work through provision of alcohol and drug referral schemes, implementation of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, all of which have been supported by engagement with offenders and their families.

“Plans are in place to expand the work across South Yorkshire and also develop culturally specific interventions across ethnic minority groups, to ensure woman across all communities are protected.”