Shock figures revealed as campaign is launched
These shocking figures were revealed as a new campaign is launched by the PSNI and the Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) to encourage people to report incidents of domestic abuse.
Police respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 19 minutes and while shocking, it is believed a large number go unreported.
Chair of the local PCSP Robert Smith revealed: “Between March 2015 and April 2016, there were 3001 domestic abuse incidents reported to police in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough area, which is a slight decrease of -3.4% since the same period last year.
“We need to reach out to victims who still feel unable to take the first steps to get out of what must be a terrifying situation.”
District Commander for the area Chief Inspector Davy Beck said: “We welcome the increase in reporting during 2015/16 because we believe this shows confidence is increasing in the police. However; we know that incidents are still going unreported. Very often people who are being abused feel isolated, vulnerable and frightened and don’t know where to turn. Through the campaign we are encouraging all victims regardless of age, race, gender or sexuality to come forward and report
the matter to the police. It is our job to keep people safe. Our role is about prevention, protection and prosecution – to prevent further violence, to protect the victim, children and other vulnerable people and to facilitate the prosecution of offenders.”
As part of awareness raising the Police Service alongside the local PCSPs are supporting initiatives to encourage victims to report this heinous crime.
There are dedicated domestic abuse officers across Northern Ireland to ensure that all domestic abuse crimes are investigated, as well as providing support and information to victims about police procedures and legal proceedings.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.
The PCSP and the Police should strongly encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to contact their local police on the non-emergency 101 or in an emergency always call 999.