Liberal Democrat councillors were shocked and disappointed that their proposals to strengthen the Domestic Abuse motion were blocked by the Conservatives at the Full Council meeting of Hertfordshire County Council on 19 October.
The Liberal Democrat proposals include Hertfordshire Police recording crimes which are motivated by sex or gender following the example set successfully by Nottinghamshire Police in 2016 and followed since by 10 other police forces; that the Council seeks funding from the government to support survivors and victims through the Spending Review; and that the backlog of domestic abuse court cases be addressed with urgency.
According to the charity, SafeLives, women are much more likely than men to be the victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse with women representing 95% of those going to a multi-agency risk assessment conference (Marac) or accessing an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (Idva) service.
Sally Symington, Councillor for Tring Division and Opposition Spokesperson for Resources and Finance who proposed the amendment said 'domestic abuse in all its forms is abhorrent and every action needs to be taken to support survivors and victims and to work towards the eradication of this pernicious crime. Platitudes and fine words are not enough. The government needs to provide long-term funding and victims and survivors need justice. Hertfordshire County Council needs to stop virtue signalling and take real action'.