Sutton Council is committing more than £1 million to transforming local response to domestic abuse in the borough.

The funding forms part of a wider programme launched in 2017 with partners across the borough to tackle the growing problem of domestic abuse as an urgent priority.

Last year reported cases rose by 8% in the borough.

Leader of Sutton Council, Cllr Ruth Dombey, said: “We are making this significant investment to help protect the extremely vulnerable in our community.

“Our shared vision for the borough, The Sutton Plan, sets out how we want everyone to have a better quality of life and greater opportunities.

"Tackling the root causes of issues and helping people as quickly as possible will improve social problems and injustice.

"We are committed to working to ensure that everyone in Sutton can live safely in their homes and neighbourhoods.

“We are ambitious for Sutton to remain a great place to live, work and raise a family and we recognise we have more to do to make this a reality for our most vulnerable residents.

"That is why we are focusing on both reducing domestic abuse and also improving our ability to look after and guarantee the safety of victims, survivors and their children.”

The partnership involves Epsom and St Helier hospitals, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London Fire Brigade, Metropolitan Police Service, Primary and Secondary School Heads, Community Action Sutton, Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group and Sutton Housing Partnership, as well as the Council.

On Monday July 8 the Council's Strategy and Resources Committee decided to award a three-year contract for specialist domestic abuse and women’s refuge services to a local provider, which will be announced shortly.

The committee made its decision after the council commissioned a report from Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, a national domestic abuse charity, which showed that while there are "pockets of good provision within the borough", these are poorly coordinated, meaning victims asking for help and support may not always receive the best service.

The transformation programme aims to better coordinate this activity, giving medium term stability to the services residents depend while longer term changes to improve the quality are made.