A NEW strategy has been launched to combat domestic violence and abuse in Bury.

Bury’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP) aims to make the borough a safer and more supportive place for individuals and groups who are at risk.

Over the next three years, the CSP will also focus on making people more aware of how they can access help and support.

The launch of the new strategy, which spans the period 2018 to 2021, coincided with the international 16 Days of Action campaign to raise awareness and end violence against women and girls around the world.

During this time, men are asked to wear a white ribbon and pledge never to commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

The strategy was launched at Bury Town Hall by Cllr Tamoor Tariq, cabinet member for communities and safer neighbourhoods.

Cllr Tariq said: "Domestic violence and abuse can affect anyone from any background. It is a multi-faceted issue with many different causes and therefore many different solutions. This is why it takes a uniquely co-ordinated approach involving all partners to develop programmes to address these issues."

Domestic violence comprises 14 per cent of all crime in Bury. However, it is estimated that 70 per cent of domestic violence incidents go unreported.

As part of efforts to tackle domestic violence and abuse in Bury, the CSP will form an action plan, seek widespread commitment to the strategy, improve partnership working and "robustly evaluate services" that already operate across the borough.

The CSP will also focus on reducing reoffending and re-victimisation, gain more understanding about under-reporting of domestic incidents, and develop initiatives to remove barriers.

Further plans include reviewing existing training, developing new resources and undertaking campaigns to raise awareness.

Cllr Tariq added: "This strategy has been developed with the input of most of the people in this room and I think the priorities identified really distil what professionals, victims and everyone affected by domestic violence and abuse have told us what needs addressing to meet our over-arching aims — of creating a safer and more supportive place to live for individuals and groups at risk of domestic violence and abuse, and an informed population who know how to access help and support.

“In the current environment of austerity and uncertainty we have to work twice as hard to make a difference, but I also know that in Bury we are fortunate to have some of the most knowledgeable, hard-working and passionate people that you will come across. The work they do each and every day is why I know we have an opportunity to affect people’s lives for the better.

“I am determined that we will make great strides in the next few weeks, months and years to really get underneath this issue and make a real difference for the people of Bury."

Also speaking at the launch were Beverley Hughes, the Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester with responsibility for policing, crime, criminal justice and fire, and Chief Insp Phil Spurgeon from Bury.