Pre-Christmas reports of domestic abuse up by 40 per cent in NI

Pre-Christmas reports of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland have spiked by 40 per cent compared with last year.

Dec 23, 2022
By PA Media

Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) Chief Superintendent Davy Beck said the number of arrests made in the last month has also increased compared with 2021, by ten per cent.

He attributed the rise in reports to growing confidence among victims to come forward and tell the authorities about the abuse they have suffered.

Provisional figures for the period November 17 to December 19 show more than 2,000 domestic abuse incidents were reported in Northern Ireland.

There were approximately 500 arrests in the same period.

The PSNI’s traditional pre-Christmas safety campaign, which covers areas such as roads, retail and nightlife, placed a particular focus on combating violence against women and girls.

Earlier this year, the service launched a specific strategy to tackle such crimes.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Chief Supt Beck, who is chief superintendent for local policing, said: “We have seen an increase in reporting of domestic incidents so far, we have received over 2,000 reports that are being dealt with.

“But I would also say that we have seen an increase in our arrests…

“I think that demonstrates our commitment, as outlined in our violence against woman and girls strategy, to relentlessly pursue perpetrators of domestic crime.

“The key message is, ‘we’re here to help’.

“We do not want people to suffer in silence. We encourage people to seek help and report that incident as perhaps the first step in that journey and in getting help.”

Chief Supt Beck said studies consistently show domestic abuse is underreported in the UK.

He said it is “encouraging” more victims are prepared to come forward.

Other provisional figures from Operation Season’s Greetings include more than 200 arrests for assault-type offences as part of the PSNI drive to improve safety on the streets, particularly around the night-time economy.

There were over 140 arrests for retail theft.

On the roads, there have been five deaths across the period, compared with six last year.

Four of the five people killed were pedestrians.

Police have also made over 170 arrests for drink/drug-driving.

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