Croydon councillor lobbies Home Secretary to call time on domestic violence


By - Friday 11th July, 2014

Croydon councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, has requested a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May to discuss what action can be take to prevent domestic homicide and address domestic abuse and sexual violence.


Croydon council building in Katharine Street. Picture by Liz Sheppard-Jones, used with permission

Release begins: The home secretary has been called upon by a senior Croydon councillor to help stop domestic abuse and sexual violence. Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, has sent a letter requesting a meeting with Theresa May.

Councillor Watson wants to discuss what more can be done to encourage partners, such as GPs, schools and the police, to invest an increased amount of time in helping to prevent domestic homicide.

He said: “I am interested in making GPs more accountable to deal with and report domestic abuse and sexual violence; for schools to prioritise tackling and reporting abuse where they see it; and for the police to share information about perpetrators moving from borough to borough.

“Domestic abuse and sexual violence is a crime and is not acceptable in any circumstance. It is a serious problem that has a devastating impact on victims and their families.”

He wants the Home Office to make it easier for victims to get the guidance and support they need and to ensure agencies have clarity about their roles and responsibilities.

The importance of raising awareness, and providing better training for health care and educational professionals, practitioners and clinicians was also raised, along with calls for greater information sharing between services and agencies.

On average there are 6,000 allegations of domestic abuse in Croydon every year – around 1,800 of these are allegations of serious violence.

As chair of the Safer Croydon Partnership, Councillor Watson has assured the home secretary that this offence is at the top of Croydon’s agenda, with chief executives from key agencies committed to working together to tackle it.

The letter also describes how the Family Justice Centre, and its associated services, are key providers of anti-domestic violence services in Croydon, but have limited resources.

Councillor Watson said Croydon’s advice and guidance services also needed to be culturally appropriate to support the borough’s increasingly diverse population.

He pledged his commitment to working with central government on changing behaviour and attitude by calling time on domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Release ends.

Release provider: Croydon Council

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