A DOMESTIC abuse prevention scheme will be launched across Dorset to target the most dangerous abusers after police bosses successfully bid for more than £90,000 of funding from the Home Office.

The Drive programme, scheduled to be operating by January 2021, will work with those deemed as being the county’s high harm and high risk domestic abusers and offer resources to help them change their behaviour.

Dorset Police will assign each perpetrator a Drive case manager who will work with multi-agency safeguarding partners to disrupt their ability to abuse, while also working with them on interventions that aid behavioural change, such as supporting with substance abuse or mental health problems.

The one-year scheme, funded by the Home Office after the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset successfully bid for £90,606, will target those who have committed violent offences as well as those responsible for coercive and controlling behaviour.

The programme, launched in 2015, has been successful in other parts of the country - the University of Bristol evaluated Drive, analysing over 500 cases, and found that physical abuse reduced by 82 per cent, sexual abuse reduced by 88 per cent and stalking behaviour reduced by 75 per cent.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "Domestic abuse is a damaging crime which ruins lives and destroys families.

"This scheme, which has been so successful in other parts of the country, will help us turn the tide, stopping perpetrators continuing their abuse and moving onto the next victim, and will protect vulnerable people here in Dorset."

Chief Inspector Julie Howe, of Dorset Police, said: "Domestic abuse is a key priority for Dorset Police. It is an abhorrent crime committed against victims and their families by those who should love and care for them.

"We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable victims experiencing domestic abuse have access to all the support that they need."

Drive currently operates in nine regions of the UK, with more scheduled to be launched next year.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Tragically, domestic abusers pose the greatest risk of serious harm to those who they are in intimate or family relationships with.

"That is why we are funding perpetrator prevention programmes like Drive to identify serial offenders and work with them to change their behaviour."