More government money has been given to Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wiltshire and Swindon.
An additional boost of more than £200,000* has been allocated by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to meet the additional costs of services providing support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence caused by the pandemic.
This money is in addition to the £180,000 given to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) in November last year.
Domestic abuse (DA) volumes during Covid have risen compared to pre-Covid, with reports increasing by nine percent and an average of 40 reports a day during the first lockdown.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “This additional funding to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence of £200,000 from the Ministry Of Justice is again very welcome.
"I am pleased that the government recognises that important services helping domestic abuse and sexual abuse victims need additional help during the ongoing pandemic.
“We know that lockdown makes it harder for victims to come forwards and report crime but fully expect to see more reports once restrictions start to be lifted.
“And with the additional time it is now taking for cases to move through the courts victims quite rightly require additional support from victim services and this additional funding will help to provide that.
"Sadly, an increase in domestic abuse and sexual violence was to be expected when lockdown started and that has been proven in our figures. That's why this money is so important - supplementing funding to those organisations and their work which my office already support and plan to support going forward."
OPCC Victims and Vulnerability Commissioning Manager Maria Milton said:
“The additional funding announcement is again welcome.
“Covid-19 has had a significant effect on all victims, and that's been reflected in the ongoing good work by charities and organisations across our county. They've worked and continue to work to provide additional support to victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence at this unprecedented time.
“This extra money will enable greater help and reach for those who need it most."
*The MOJ have allocated an additional £208,548 (£141,670 for domestic abuse and £66,876 for sexual violence) to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence across the county.