I was attracted to apply for the role at the start of the year because I feel, having worked for many years, that there is a real need for public leadership and an independent commissioner to hold the Government to account and look at the provision of service across England and Wales. You will have heard the term postcode lottery, and you will probably hear it many times in the next few sittings. I have worked in the field for more than 20 years and know what it feels like for people who are subject to domestic abuse, how services change and how the response of statutory services will differ from area to area.
My vision for the role is to instil a co-ordinated community response to domestic abuse, where essentially you have specialist services—we all know that victims of domestic abuse say time and time again that such services make a life-changing difference, and that has been well evaluated—with the survivor voice at the centre of the response; and where all entities, including housing, health, the criminal justice system and community and religious groups, are doing their part to address domestic abuse properly, as they should.
That is why I loved the job description set out for this role, which is about mapping provision and looking at our findings from homicide reviews. I have just come from an organisation that, sadly, has chaired over 60 homicide reviews. The idea of co-ordinating the learning from those reviews highly motivates me, as well as other aspects of the co-ordinated response.
Tangibly, what I would like to set out and do, as quickly as possible, is to get on with that mapping and really help to shine a light not only on where practice is lacking but on where there is good practice, because we need to emulate that and really push for that to be much more common across England and Wales.