MORE than £400,000 has been secured for a new programme to tackle domestic abuse across Sussex.

Last year there were 13,500 reports of alleged offences in the county, but only four per cent of perpetrators were convicted.

The remaining 96 per cent were not sentenced and did not receive any service intervention to address their behaviour.

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne has secured £402,000 from the government to set up the first county-wide domestic abuse perpetrator programme.

Most of the funding will be used to target the most active dangerous perpetrators to address reasons why they commit these crimes, with an aim of changing their behaviour. Police officers will be able to refer offenders to mental health workers, drug and alcohol specialists and management caseworkers.

Ms Bourne said: “I’m delighted we have secured the funds to now address perpetrators’ behaviour and improve the outcomes for victims and children across the entire county.

“There is currently no specialist partner intervention for those who continually abuse and we are seeing far too many perpetrators in Sussex slipping through the criminal justice net, going on to reoffend and hurt more people.

“I want to thank all the partners, including Sussex Police, who were involved in the bid for this funding and who will be key to its success moving forward. We are determined to challenge and change domestic abuse perpetrators.”