The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today released figures on domestic abuse incidents over the Christmas period.
Discussing the figures Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, Head of the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch said: “We launched our domestic abuse Christmas campaign in the middle of December and have been monitoring the statistics.
“From 15th December until 16th January we received 2,656 calls for help in relation to domestic abuse incidents. This is compared to 2,738 from the same the previous year, that is 82 fewer incidents. On Christmas Day we received 95 calls for help which is an increase of just one from the previous year. Despite this being a small increase, it is one too many for the victim. On New Year’s Day we received 139 calls compared to 175 the previous year – a decrease of 36 incidents.
“Although there has been a decrease in the number of incidents reported I welcome this. However, behind each one of the statistics is a victim who has had to endure abuse and that those victims, both male and female, of all ages, may have suffered abuse many times before calling the police or contacting other agencies for assistance.
“Police officers attending the scene of a domestic incident will take a proactive and robust stance against offenders. The police response to domestic abuse aims to ensure the effective protection of victims and family members, whilst allowing the criminal justice system to hold the offender to account for their behaviour. Domestic abuse is a crime and must not be tolerated.
“It is important that anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse knows they should not have to endure this appalling type of behaviour and that there are people who can help them make it stop.
“We respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 18 minutes. It is our job to keep people safe. We know that domestic abuse is a frightening crime which can affect anyone often leaving them feeling isolated and alone.
“Between October 2015 and September 2016, there were a total 28,811 domestic abuse incidents reported to police compared to 28,170 from the same period the previous year. Although these figures are shocking, we know that a large number of incidents still go unreported to police
“I urge anyone who knows of any incident of domestic abuse to pick up the phone and make it stop.
“Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is encouraged to contact their local police on the non-emergency 101 or in an emergency always call 999.
“A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.”