Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)
Introduction and background
MOPAC has a responsibility to ensure that the sexual violence services that it commissions are effectively meeting the needs and demands in the Capital. Following on from the Dame Elish “Report of the Independent Review into the investigation and prosecution of rape in London” (April 2015), MOPAC and NHS England jointly commissioned MBARC to deliver two needs assessments – a sexual violence needs assessment and a child sexual exploitation one. The needs assessments were specifically designed to better understand the scale of these issues, the service response to these crimes, and the extent to which this response provided the full range of support services needed by victims and survivors to cope and recover.
The needs assessments are critical pieces of work for MOPAC and NHS England. They finally provide an evidential framework of the challenges London is facing and the gaps in service provision that must be addressed by partners going forward.
They have been completed at an opportune time, allowing MOPAC to ensure that the findings inform the direction of the new Police and Crime Plan in terms of sexual violence commissioning priorities.
Issues for consideration
Rationale for the extension of the existing Grant Agreements
2.1 The needs assessments drew from an extensive review of current research literature, the testimony of more than 100 organisations working in London and the direct perspectives and views of more than 100 victims and survivors. The assessments provide a comprehensive picture of demand and need in the Capital, highlighting that:
- an increase in confidence in the police response has seen sharp increases in reported cases, however, support for survivors through the criminal justice system process remains patchy across London;
- the availability of appropriate well-being services such as mental health services to assist recovery and prevent revictimisation is limited,
- there are a wide range of specialist services delivered by the Voluntary and Community Sector, which are well regarded by survivors but are overwhelmed by rising demand.
2.2 In terms of key gaps the needs assessments highlighted that:
- In contrast to other crimes, there is no evidence of a strategic approach at either a London or a borough level to reduce the overall prevalence of sexual violence.
- Prevention interventions were poorly resourced and largely reactive.
- Despite the level of investment in criminal justice work, supporting victims through the criminal justice process was poor and inadequately resourced.
- There is limited public awareness of potential sources of support for those who have experienced sexual violence.
- Ongoing support services provided by the third sector are highly rated by survivors, but are struggling with increased demand and limited resources.
- Access to statutory support services particular to health services is universally poor.
2.3 The needs assessment also highlighted that the current spend by the statutory sector on sexual violence is not insubstantial and was estimated as being approximately £150 million across London per year. This is for direct and indirect services funded by MOPAC; NHS England; Local Authorities; Clinical Commissioning Groups and charitable trusts. In addition, the Commons Select Committee estimated a further £150 - £180 million annual spend on policing of sexual violence cases and approximately £20 million annually on court processes. It is also anticipated that policing costs per annum are due to rise because of the increased reporting of noncurrent cases.
2.4 Despite this considerable spend; the needs assessment found that needs are going unmet. In addition, as victims of current violence appear more likely to report and as victims of historic abuse increasingly come forward, there will be further demands on the system.
Therefore, it was clear that the current way of delivering sexual violence service provision and commissioning sexual violence service provision is ineffective and should be reviewed.
2.5 A one-year grant agreement extension for the five providers will not only ensure that there is no gap in service provision for survivors and victims of sexual abuse but will also allow MOPAC to work with partners and delivery organisations in a timely manner to develop a new way of working that better meets demand and needs in the Capital. It is anticipated that planning work for the new service model will commence in November 2016 and that a new service model will be in place for implementation by April 2018.
2.6 It is anticipated that an alliance based commissioning approach will be adopted by MOPAC to design the new service model. This approach is being considered by MOPAC as it provides a collaborative approach that creates cooperation between providers and commissioners, based on an agreed set of outcomes. A key requirement in the new grant agreements will be a fundamental obligation for the five existing delivery partners to work with commissioners and other providers to develop the new service model.
Development budget of £100,000
2.7 In order for the alliance based commissioning approach to be successful and to ensure that Voluntary and Community Sector delivery partners have the ability to fully support the process, a development budget is being requested.
The four London Rape Crisis Centres have local links and knowledge, specialist expertise and reputations for innovation and therefore have the potential to provide effective solutions to the redesign of the Sexual Violence service model. By ensuring a development budget of £100,000, MOPAC will be able to enable the four Rape Crisis Centre providers to successfully participate in the design of the new sexual violence service provision.
Initial consultation with providers will take place in October and November and will provide a clearer indication of the most effective way to target this development budget. However, the funding will not be available for capital costs and will be ring-fenced for capacity building and project support.
2.9 The existing providers of the four Rape Crisis Centres have requested funding to expand the work of the IPAMO Project that is managed by the Women and Girls Network who deliver the West London Rape Crisis Centre. IPAMO was initially established to provide women from refugee communities’ opportunities in training and development so that they could gain a nationally recognised counselling qualification. However, the project also had a secondary benefit as it allowed the trainees to provide counselling and support to other non-English speaking women surviving experiences of domestic abuse.
2.10 West London Rape Crisis Centre has requested £70,000 in order to continue the counselling/interpreter programme which would work across the four Rape Crisis Centres. At contract meetings with the Rape Crisis Centres it has been repeatedly highlighted by the centres that there has been an increase in women accessing support for whom English was a second language and the significant impact this is having on existing resources and capacity. The needs assessment also highlighted that specialist providers working with survivors of sexual violence reported particular pressures due to a lack of resources.
Continuing the IPAMO project will allow the Centres to begin to address that challenge. It is clear that the benefit of the IPAMO project is twofold. It not only provides professional and personal development opportunities, but it allows the trained women to support other non-English speaking women who are seeking support and accessing service provision from the four Centres.
2.11 It is envisaged that approximately 20 women will take part in the training and that these women will be from a range of diverse communities. The funding will be used to contribute to the salary of the project workers who will support the trainees and would fund counselling and clinical supervision.
2.12 It is recommended that initially a one off payment be made to the West London Rape Crisis Centre so that the project is able to continue. However, as planning work for a redesign of a sexual violence service model begins in November 2016; specific equality needs such as these will be considered in the redesign.
MOPAC has provided funding to the four Rape Crisis Centres since 2014/2015 from the core budget. The £1,260,000 funding for the grant agreement extensions will continue to come from existing MOPAC resources. The one-year grant extension of £2,165,000 for the Kings College Foundation Trust for the delivery of the three London Sexual Assault Referral Centres will also come from existing MOPAC resources.
The funding of £170,000 for developmental support and interpreter services will come from existing MOPAC resources and will be a one off cost. The £100,000 for developmental support will support more effective commissioning arrangements. Considering the needs of non-speaking English women and the requirement for effective interpreter/counselling services will be looked at as part of the service model design.
The total amount required for 2017/18 is therefore £3,595,000. The current budget is £3,000,000. The shortfall of £595,000 will be funded from forecast underspend in 2016/17 via reserves.
Section 143 (1) (b) of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides an express power for MOPAC, as a local policing body, to provide or commission services “intended by the local policing body to help victims or witnesses of, or other persons affected by, offences and anti-social behaviour.” Section 143(3) specifically allows MOPAC to make grants in connection with such arrangements and any grant may be made subject to any conditions that MOPAC thinks appropriate.
The powers in section 143 were given to MOPAC following the Government’s response to the consultation Getting it Right for Victims and Witnesses (2 July 2012) in which it set out a package of reforms to the way in which support services for victim of crime are to be provided. Section 143 creates a clear statutory basis for the proposals set out in this decision form, namely to award grant funding as set out above for the provision of victim-support related services.
Under MOPAC’s Scheme of Delegation, approval of the strategy for the award of individual grants and the award of all individual grants (for crime reduction or other purposes) is a matter generally reserved to the DMPC (paragraph 4.8). The release of funding in accordance with the proposals set out in this decision form is accordingly to be approved by DMPC. The delegation of responsibility for the finalisation of planning and contractual/grant arrangements, including relevant terms and the signing of agreements, to the Chief Operating Officer is in accordance with the general power of delegation in paragraph.
MOPAC are committed to developing a sexual violence service response which is victim centric and trauma informed. Existing sexual violence service provision has developed ad hoc over time with the voluntary and community sector addressing gaps in statutory service provision. Individual services have also been commissioned in silos that relate to commissioners budgets rather than service users needs. This was highlighted in the needs assessments with survivors reporting that they had had to navigate their own way between services (statutory and commissioned) run by a range of organisations. Existing services also focus on measuring inputs and outputs rather than the outcomes that are beneficial for service users.
By working in partnership with commissioners and existing and new partners in a collaborative partnership, MOPAC intends to develop a new sexual violence service model that better meets the needs of victims and survivors.
In setting up a new way of working with existing and new commissioners, MOPAC will also ensure that a review process is built in, to ensure that the new service model is meeting the collectively agreed outcomes and outputs. The review process will allow MOPAC and fellow commissioners to revise and agree new or additional outcomes and outputs with delivery partners.
 Kings College Foundation Trust delivers the three London Sexual Assault Referral Centres in Paddington, Whitechapel and Camberwell. The four London Rape Crisis Centres are delivered by the following four Violence against Women and Girls specialist service providers: Nia, Solace, the Women and Girls Network and the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre.