Priya Patel, from the DA Perpetrators & Homicide Response team at the Home Office, joined Respect’s Accredited Members Forum on 21/07/21 to provide updates on developments at the Home Office. She had been asked to speak on the comprehensive spending review, future funding from the £25m perpetrator fund and the perpetrator strategy. The DA Perpetrators & Homicide Response team in the Home Office is recently established and has functions to distribute funding, develop policy and oversee domestic homicide reviews & data.

On the day the VAWG strategy was announced, Priya advised that submissions will be sought over the coming months to inform the perpetrator strategy, but no specific date yet had been set for publication. The Home Office is currently in the process of establishing what the key strands of this document need to include. Stalking is one area of particular focus, and will require engagement with Ministry of Justice initiatives to consider how the approaches will work alongside one other. One significant point raised by Respect was to identify where male victims sat in the strategy and to update on the development of the Male Victims’ position statement. Priya committed to update Respect on this after Wednesday’s meeting. The comprehensive spending review, like the perpetrator strategy, remains in progress and whilst there is again no date for its announcement it is hoped this will bring to a close the short-term funding rounds which the sector has seen over the past 18 months.
 
The initial headline fund for perpetrator intervention was £25m, comprising two parts: £15m which came from the spring budget in 2021 and £10m which would extend delivery of those interventions commissioned last year. The £11m Home Office funding round which closed in early July 2021 has been considering bids and it is hoped that announcements will be made before the close of the month. Members expressed concerns about the focus on innovation and the lack of funding to consider existing interventions that have a strong evidence base. Alongside this it was acknowledged that the short-term nature of these funds did not support workforce or intervention development, an area Respect will be looking to engage the Home Office on. 

Of the remaining £14m the Home Office has made some direct grants and would like to see another round of research projects commissioned, although there is no timeline for this currently. These projects may focus on evaluating some of the projects funded in the last financial year. It was acknowledged that there are still gaps in research and evaluation which they would like to address with some of this fund. A likely timeline will see requests for evaluation go out in the Autumn once universities have returned. 

There is also interest in undertaking further analysis of domestic homicide data with a paper currently in development. As expected, some of the money will be used to support the Stalking Prevention Order interventions which are currently being trialled in a number of areas. It is anticipated there will be a small pot of money left over and Priya expressed that her team would be engaging with the sector to get a sense of how this could be best applied. 

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