WE are not looking to spend more money on domestic abuse services.

That was the message given at last week's Hampshire County Council Safe and Healthy People Select Committee Crime and Disorder Scrutiny meeting.

Martha Fowler-Dixon, head of prevention and early intervention with adult services, said the sector isn’t looking for an increase in its budget, but instead will utilise the £1.3 million currently available more effectively.

She said: “We are trying to refresh and develop existing practises to ensure they are sustainable, innovative and remove barriers towards improved outcomes for individuals and families.

“We want to create a culture where people aren’t afraid to report abuse, and they know they will have safe services to support them when they do.

“We are not looking to spend more funding from HCC, but to spend the money that we do have more effectively and wisely to create a holistic system, that is coherent and approachable.”

The main redistribution of funds seemed to lie in the use of refuge housing, for victims of domestic abuse that need safe accommodation.

The meeting heard how these premises can become bed-locked, with no other housing available for victims once they leave, and people staying for over eight months at a time.

Ms Fowler-Dixon outlined the plans for development, which included focus on community based delivery of services, refuges to be used as ‘crisis’ accommodation, a housing ‘toolkit’ plan to provide housing post-crisis and improved referral pathways and risk assessments.