Sussex Police headed off strong competition at the recent UK Public Sector Transformation Awards, gaining two awards.

Detective Inspector Lee Horner and colleagues picked up the Silver Award for Community Focus, the category for the initiative that reinvigorates local communities.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland said; “The High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme was established as a pilot scheme in March 2021. The delivery team responsible for managing perpetrators through this programme is a multi agency collaboration of dedicated professionals involving Interventions Alliance (add link https://iese.org.uk/public-sector-transformation-awards-2022)

“They challenge the harm generated by the most serious domestic abusers who are ineligible for probation service attention. Working with abusers and victims, the team seeks to positively engage with clients to tackle the most pervasive issues undermining efforts to engage in healthy relationships.

“The team works together addressing mental health, substance misuse and provides a framework to support healthy relationships and reduce the long-term harm of domestic abuse.”

Detective Inspector Chris Thompson and the Local Resolution Team received the Bronze Award for the Best Use of Digital and Technology. This award is for the innovative use of digital tools and technology from remodelling existing services to creating totally new and dynamic services that lead to improved outcomes.

Steve Rayland said: “We identified that lockdown presented issues for domestic abuse victims. Access to services and support networks were affected with victims often locked in with their abusers and sometimes vulnerable due to ill health. It became clear traditional methods of engaging with victims were not always suitable.

“We took the innovative approach of starting to offer victims reporting abuse a video appointment with specialist domestic abuse officers, though only where the need was not urgent. This allows for victims to engage with the police even if shielding or unable to leave the house for other reasons. This quickly became the preferred option, with high victim satisfaction levels.”

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I am delighted that the funding I secured has allowed Sussex Police, working in conjunction with my office, to establish the High Harm Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Unit. This has enabled officers to take a proactive approach to identifying offenders and protecting and helping victims and I am especially pleased to see this innovation acknowledged in the Public Sector Transformation Awards.

“As we adapt to a more digital world, it is vital that the tools used to tackle crime and support victims are accessible and inclusive for all so it is heartening to see Sussex Police also receive a bronze award for their innovative use of technology. The sensitive and discreet use of video appointments, particularly during lockdowns, meant that Sussex Police could successfully reach victims and those who are vulnerable, helping them to access the services and support needed.”

See here for further information about the Awards organisers.