Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has received £1.5 million of funding from the Ministry of Justice to reinforce specialist provision for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence across the county.

The office of David Lloyd, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has secured a further £555,288 to pay for four additional members of specialist staff for three years.

Two of the specialists will be based in the county’s major hospitals in - Lister in Stevenage and Watford General - while the other two will become parts of the Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) service run by the charity Refuge.

The IDVA provides support for those experiencing forms of violence and abuse such as domestic violence, sexual violence, modern slavery and what is known as honour-based violence, among other forms.

Of the new staff joining the hospitals, one will be a children and young person Independent and Sexual Violence Advocate (ISVA) to work with young people and specialist domestic abuse advisors, while the other will be a hybrid IDVA and ISVA worker.

These staff have been allocated to the general hospitals as they have been identified as a crucial place where victims are coming forward about the abuse they are experiencing.

The funding comes in addition to another £969,489 that was recently pledged by the MoJ, enabling the Commissioner’s office to put specialist provision including the Beacon Family Hub; a team dedicated to tackling child on parent abuse.

Speaking on the funding, Mr Lloyd said: "My commissioning team has been working closely with partners and providers to understand how best to meet the needs of victims across the county.

“Their continued commitment to placing bids into these government opportunities has seen an additional £1.5m of funding coming into Hertfordshire, with further bids in the pipeline.”

Kevin McGetrick, head of victim services and commissioning, said: “Our strategy has been to increase the availability and accessibility of specialist posts across the county, especially for those who may feel uncertain or unable to reach out to criminal justice partners.

“This very welcome funding allows us to continue with this expansion.”