Cordis Bright delivered the independent evaluation of Domestic Abuse: A Whole System Approach (DAWSA), which was commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria. This was an ambitious programme funded by the Home Office Police Transformation Fund, which injected resource into local systems in six police force areas (Northumbria, Cleveland, Durham, Humberside, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire) to enable them to explore and deliver innovative approaches which aim to improve responses to domestic abuse, and therefore the experiences and outcomes of victims. The projects which were developed and delivered as part of DAWSA addressed three key themes, which are:
- Effective working within the criminal justice system.
- Partnership work with civil and family courts.
- Multi-agency victim support and offender management.
The evaluation examined impact, process and sustainability at the level of the whole programme and individual projects within it. The approach was developed collaboratively with stakeholders across the six force areas. It involved large-scale qualitative and quantitative consultation with stakeholders (including victims/survivors and those who commit domestic abuse) across multiple organisations, sites and force areas, alongside observation of practice, review of key programme documentation, outputs and performance metrics, and a literature review.
We have produced four separate evaluation reports. This report summarises findings relating to effective working within the criminal justice system, which included five projects aiming to upskill police officers and staff in relation to domestic abuse, to introduce specialist input for victims/survivors at an earlier point in police responses to incidents, and/or to increase the level of independent and specialist scrutiny of police and partner responses to domestic abuse.
The remaining reports summarise findings relating to the programme as a whole, and two the two other key themes included within DAWSA.