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COUNCILS TO PROVIDE 'SAFE ROOMS'

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Councils should provide safe rooms for victims of domestic violence, communities secretary Ruth Kelly has announced...
Councils should provide safe rooms for victims of domestic violence, communities secretary Ruth Kelly has announced.

The move is intended to help prevent victims and their families from being forced out of their homes.

Ms Kelly said she wants every council to offer sanctuary schemes to its residents, which provide a safe room in victims' homes. The rooms would be fitted with alarms, mortice locks, security lights, emergency lights, CCTV and a reinforced door frame.

Addresses with a safe room would be flagged up on police computers to ensure a swift response if an incident occurs.

Fewer than a third of councils offer sanctuary schemes at the moment.

Ms Kelly said she wanted more councils to provide them because it was 'not right that victims should have no other choice but to go into temporary accommodation or refuges'.

She said: 'Sanctuary schemes have been proven to prevent homelessness by giving people the security and confidence to stay in their own home, where it's their choice and police experts agree it's a safe option.'

Housing, planning & environment

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