Northern Ireland

Domestic abuse reports over Christmas higher than previous year

Woman pushing someone away Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police said that more victims are coming forward for help

The number of domestic abuse crimes reported to police over the Christmas period increased in 2019/20.

The PSNI received 1,782 reports between 15 December and 16 January, up from 1,574 in 2018/19.

This was despite a decrease in the number of calls for help in relation to domestic abuse.

Police said domestic abuse incidents tended to rise over Christmas but the figures showed more victims were "finding the courage" to make a report.

There were 96 reports on Christmas Day and 187 on New Year's Day.

The figures were released by police as part of a campaign to encourage victims to report incidents.

Det Ch Supt Paula Hilman said the increase in figures could be put down to more harassment and malicious communications offences.

She said: "It is important that anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse knows they should not have to endure this horrific behaviour and that there are people who can help them make it stop.

"Unfortunately, many incidents of domestic abuse still go unreported, but we hope this campaign will have gone some way towards changing that.

"We hope these stark figures issued today will encourage anyone impacted by domestic abuse to report it to us."

There were 3,036 calls for help for domestic abuse incidents over the period, a decrease of 78 from the year before.

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