VICTIMS of domestic violence are urged to record abuse incidents as new figures suggest cases fail due to lack of evidence.

Figures obtained via an FOI request show Cumbria Constabulary recorded 130 arrests for ‘controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship’ between January 1 and December 31 last year.

In that period, 10 charges were made for that same offence, while an outcome of ‘no further action complete’ was recorded 98 times.

She said: "Coercive control is a subtle pattern of behaviours, which are hard for both victims and the police to prove.

"Although thousands of arrests are made for domestic violence and coercive control each year, cases are often dropped because of insufficient evidence.

“We know incidents of domestic abuse and violence go up over holiday periods, so I'm urging those who feel threatened to find a way of making a record of all incidents of abuse.”

In 2015, coercive control, which spans a broad range of actions that are intended to intimidate, restrict and control a partner’s behaviour, became a new offence under Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

Domestic violence campaigner Emma Pearmaine says gathering enough evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)to bring a charge against violent spouses is exceptionally difficult, but mobile phone apps could help.

There are currently several apps available for victims of domestic violence that help from simple note-keeping to storing searchable records such as documents, pictures and videos.

Many apps are disguised as something else, so an abuser would not identify it on a victim’s phone, if they decided to check.

Some domestic violence apps even allow victims and their lawyers the option of downloading the stored records in court-ready chronology.

Users can link their records to a professional, who can monitor events in real time and offer support and advice in real time.

Mrs Pearmaine stated records of domestic abuse make it easier for the police and CPS to make a case against a perpetrator.