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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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Increase in domestic violence in 2013 Cumbria police say

THE number of domestic violence incidents in South Cumbria has risen for the third year in a row, police have revealed today.

Cumbria police today said in December 2013 alone, 662 domestic violence incidents were reported to police compared to 608 in December 2012 were reported.

From December 23 to 29 there were 172 incidents – 114 of which were alcohol related, from December 30 to January 5 there were 182 incidents, 107 of which were alcohol related.

Year on year, Cumbria Police are seeing an increase in the number of reports of domestic violence.

Detective Superintendent Mike Forrester said: “We work every year to highlight and showcase the ways in which victims of domestic violence can get help. Seeing an increase in the number of reports does not mean that it is not being tackled, it shows that people want to report it.

“It is a fact 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.

“Again we see an increase in the number of incidents during the festive period and an increase in the number of incidents that relate to alcohol.

“As part of our continued work within the Alcohol Harm Strategy, we are trying to tackle alcohol abuse and its role in domestic violence. Many people don’t know when they’ve had too much to drink; they lose control of their senses and don’t know when to stop.

“Our continued work in promoting the ways in which victims can get help, through the police or agencies such as Let Go, we can hopefully help families who are living in fear to find courage to get in contact.

“Domestic violence is a very serious issue. It is a crime that occurs all year round and can have chronic health implications – not only on the victim, but also on children or wider family members.

“No one deserves to be abused and we will not tolerate violence of any sort.”

In 2013 Cumbria Police’s Crime Prevention Officers visited 267 high risk victims of domestic abuse across the county, to help ensure they were as safe as possible from further attack.

This vital work is known as the “Sanctuary Scheme”. It is carried out in partnership with Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and housing providers, so that families who are living in fear can have the reassurance of a level of security that will afford them some protection.

Community Safety Inspector Jon Sherlock said, “In the past, we have had situations where offenders have forced their way into their former partner’s home which such ease, that the victim hasn’t even had time to pick up the phone. The Sanctuary Scheme aims to prevent this from happening, making victims more secure and removing the 24/7 fear that victims would otherwise be living with.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes said: “I welcome the fact that there have been more reports of domestic violence showing that victims are willing to come forward. However, I am extremely disappointed that these latest set of figures show how much domestic violence is alcohol related there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. It is only by us all working together that we will make a difference.”

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