CUMBRIA Police have maintained that domestic abuse prevention is still a top priority as statistics how an increase in reported cases recently. This approach is backed up nationally as the country’s policing lead on domestic abuse reaffirms that it remains a police priority throughout the lockdown period. Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Domestic Abuse (DA), says people facing violence or controlling behaviour at home should report their experiences to police or seek advice and support from a domestic abuse services or charities. She reiterated that officers will attend calls for help, arrest perpetrators, and prosecute them, despite the additional pressures on the service due to Covid-19. Earlier this year, as the country entered its first full period of lockdown, provisional crime statistics did not illustrate a significant rise in DA cases reported to police compared to the previous year. Crime in this area has since consistently stayed in line with 2019 levels, and currently stands at two per cent higher than in 2019.

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Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Domestic Abuse is a top priority for the constabulary. We are working alongside partner agencies and local support services to ensure help and advice is available for victims and their family” “I would also like to remind the public to look out for one another, whether that be a friend, a neighbour or a colleague at work. “If you know that someone may be suffering from abuse please report this to us. “We must all work together to end domestic abuse and the constabulary continue to seek new ways to engage with the public including via our online Facebook web chat surgeries”. “If you need to speak to us about reporting domestic abuse or have any questions about how we can help, please call 101” Cumbria Police are continuing to run their domestic abuse Surgeries on Facebook throughout lockdown as well.

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National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Domestic Abuse, Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe said: “Our message to victims of domestic abuse is to continue reporting to us. You are not alone. We will come when you ask for help, and can take steps to make sure you’re safe. “Domestic Abuse is not just physical or sexual abuse, it can include verbal, psychological or financial abuse too. It can be committed anywhere, including online, and can sadly involve and seriously affect children. It causes misery regardless of where it happens. “We fully recognise that it can sometimes take time for people to take the brave step to report their experiences, particularly during the periods of restriction which Covid-19 brings. Tackling domestic abuse and our response to vulnerable victims remains a priority. It has a devastating effect on people’s lives. “For some victims, home will not be a safe place. Don’t worry about the restrictions on movement – seek help if you’re in danger.”