HOLIDAY VIOLENCE: Police prepare for domestic abuse calls over the Easter weekend
Image from Northumbria Police
Specialist staff at Northumbria Police will be on hand over the Bank Holiday and Easter Holidays as police prepare for an increase in domestic abuse cases.
Detective Chief Inspector Claire Wheatley who is the force lead for domestic abuse believes, multiple factors could see an increase in reports this weekend and stresses that support is on hand for victims to come forward.
Det Chief Insp Wheatley said: "We are committed to tackling domestic abuse and our priority is to reassure victims that we are here to help. We often see an increase in reports of domestic abuse over the Bank Holiday weekends which we believe to be associated with better weather and more alcohol consumption. This year we also have the easing of lockdown restrictions allowing up to six people or two households in a garden or public place, which could also see further abuse and violence.
"We know from coming out of lockdowns previously, we have seen an increase in reports as victims are able to leave the home and speak more freely with friends and families.
"We have been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure victims know we are always here to help, no matter the restrictions. We have been looking at ways to make it easier than ever to report domestic abuse. We have made changes to our website to have better hidden measures, we have been working with pharmacies to provide a safe place to report abuse and we have been proactively contacting known victims of abuse to ensure they are safe. But unfortunately we do believe victims have been less able to come forward during lockdown while it's also been easier for perpetrators to control their victims.
"We've done online training and learning packages in schools for children, teachers and carers to spot the signs of domestic abuse in the home and how they can report it. This weekend we have additional safety planning measures in place and I would urge anyone who is subjected to domestic abuse to report it to police or one of our partner agencies."
Anyone who is a victim of abuse, or has concerns for a friend or family member, is urged to report to police online via the Northumbria Police website or contact 101. Always call 999 in an emergency.
Victims can also find information by searching Victim's First Northumbria online for independent victim advice and support or contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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