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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Half of festive Cumbria domestic violence incidents booze-related

HALF of the 950 domestic violence incidents reported to Cumbria police over the extended festive period involved alcohol.

Cumbria police launched a campaign on December 17 to raise awareness of the support available to domestic violence victims across the county.

The launch coincided with the festive break, as data shows the number of domestic violence incidents can rise at this time of year.

Police have confirmed that between November 19 and January 6, officers were called to 950 reports of domestic violence across the county.

Of these incidents, 498 were alcohol related. This represents 52 per cent.

Throughout the same period, 286 people were arrested and a total of 315 crimes are now being investigated.

In December alone, 612 domestic violence incidents were reported to police - compared to 552 in December 2011.

Police said that although the increase may be seen as concerning, officers are also looking at whether the increase in calls may indicate that the campaign’s message struck a chord with more victims this year than last.

Police said it may mean there was an increased number of people with the confidence to pick up the phone and ask police for help.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Forrester said: “We know that domestic violence can be chronically under-reported, so although an increase in violence of any kind is very worrying, the rise in the number of incidents we recorded may also be encouraging if
it meant that more people had the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help."

“What is very concerning - although not that surprising - is that more than half of the incidents police were called to had escalated as a result of too much alcohol.

“This is a worrying statistic but, sadly, alcohol is an all-too-common factor in many crimes and abusive relationships in our county."

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