Domestic abuse arrests up as festive crackdown continues

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West Yorkshire Police arrested 25 per cent more people for domestic abuse offences during a recent 16 days of action when compared to the same period last year.

The Force supported a national 16 days of action against domestic abuse and focussed its campaign on the impact of domestic abuse on children who may be victims or witness abuse.

Throughout the 16 days, specialist officers and teams undertook a number of special operations across the Force targeting known offenders for domestic abuse alongside its campaign to encourage victims and witnesses of abuse to come forward.

As a result 670 people were arrested between the November 25 and December 10 2015 for domestic abuse offences - 536 people were arrested in the same period last year.

Detective Chief Inspector Peter Craig, Force Lead for Domestic Abuse said: “The increased number of arrests for domestic abuse offences compared to the same period last year can be attributed to victims and witnesses feeling increasingly confident in reporting incidents to the police and other agencies, alongside our continued commitment to safeguard those in our communities.

“The concentrated activities of our teams over the 16 days has been in addition to the extensive work we do every day in tackling these issues and protecting the vulnerable, and we are continuing to tackle these often hidden issues, along with other safeguarding incidents throughout the festive period.”

Although the 16 days has now concluded, the Force will continue to focus its attention on safeguarding issues, and will be providing festive safety messages and hints and tips for safely enjoying the Christmas season working with partner agencies using #SafeChristmas

Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster said: “Significant progress has been made in respect of tackling domestic abuse in West Yorkshire.

“The Force has already reviewed the recommendations made by HMIC and has made progress in implementing changes to enhance the quality of service to victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse remains a strategic priority and the recent Domestic Abuse webchat held by the Chief Constable continued to raise awareness of this important issue.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner has invested heavily in additional resources to safeguard vulnerable people who are either a victim of crime or at risk of harm and this together with closer working relationships with partners, has provided the opportunity to make real progress and ensure that we are on the road to developing a high quality service to support victims.

“It is clear however that we need to build upon what is already in place and continue to develop this good work to enhance our quality of service to victims. It is pleasing for instance to see that in around 70 per cent of domestic abuse cases an early arrest is made, but we do note the small reduction in the number of cases resulting in a charge. We are conducting work to understand why this has taken place and what we can do together with our partners to resolve the issue and provide the right outcome for the victim, which isn’t always necessarily a charge and progression through the criminal justice system.

“An innovative new domestic abuse perpetrator service has been commissioned which works with perpetrators so they better understand the causes and impact of their behaviour and in doing so reduces repeat victimisation. Continuing use of Domestic Violence Protection orders has also ensured additional victims are protected from further harm.”

“Domestic abuse is a truly insidious crime which can not only ruin a victim’s quality of life, but those of children in the household.”