Police in Valentine's Day domestic abuse warning

Domestic violence There were a total of 24,585 reports of domestic violence in 2010

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Police in Devon and Cornwall have warned of increased tensions leading to domestic abuse on Valentine's Day.

Det Sgt Chloe Webber said there were "many factors at this time" which may lead to a relationship becoming abusive.

Calls about domestic abuse last year fell 18.5% around Valentine's Day, but she said the warning was a "timely reminder".

There were a total of 24,585 reports to the force of domestic violence in 2010.

Det Sgt Webber said: "Valentine's Day can be extremely special for some people but unfortunately for others this is not always the case.

"There are many factors at this time which affect relationships, such as high expectations, stress, and financial pressure which may lead to a relationship becoming abusive."

The Devon Against Domestic Violence and Abuse partnership, which comprises councils, police and social workers, said reports to the force of domestic violence last year showed a fall in incidents of 18.5% over the Valentine's period, compared with an average 48-hour period in June.

'Be loved up'

A spokeswoman said: "There is no statistical evidence which suggests Valentine's Day is a pinch point for people."

Det Sgt Webber said the drop in reports over Valentine's Day "may have been because of the awareness campaign in the last couple of years".

She said: "Three or four year ago we had anecdotal evidence from officers of an increase in domestic violence over the Valentine's Day period.

"When we structure our awareness campaigns we try to pick points when it is poignant for people to reflect on their circumstances."

She added: "Please be loved up, generous and loving with people that you are intimate with, but remember that there will be people that experience violence in their daily lives."

Women were the alleged victims in 18,940 cases in 2010 and men were the alleged victims in 5,645 cases.

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