Parents praise five-year plan

John and Penny Clough
John and Penny Clough
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THE parents of murdered nurse Jane Clough have praised Blackpool’s work to combat domestic violence at the launch of a new five-year strategy to deal with abuse.

John and Penny Clough – whose daughter was murdered by her ex-partner after he was freed on bail awaiting a rape trial – spoke about their Justice for Jane campaign at a special conference at the Hilton Hotel yesterday.

Mrs Clough said: “Blackpool is doing great things to combat domestic violence.

“I applaud what is going on here to encourage victims to come forward and get out of these situations of violence and harm.

“We need to show we, as a society, can keep victims safe when they come forward and report abuse.”

There have been nine domestic homicides in Blackpool in the past five years.

Det Chief Insp Brian Quinn, of Blackpool Police, said: “Our aim is to prevent future Jane Cloughs, that’s the reality of it.

“We are going through a consultation period about introducing MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) – which is currently being piloted in east Lancashire – to west Lancashire.

“Cases will be referred through that hub where partners work together. That will be a huge step forward in being able to recognise the risk of victims of abuse and put plans in place.

“In Blackpool we are also piloting a scheme where we are working with perpetrators and making them face up to their offending.

“Both of these are examples of how we are looking to innovate our work.”

Advisors from the resort’s Children’s Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy Service spoke about the services they offer to youngsters who witness or are victims of abuse.

And Andrea Thorley-Baines, the council’s Interpersonal Violence and Abuse Partnership Manager, said: “Our aims are to prevent the abuse happening, protecting people who have been abused and holding perpetrators accountable.”