Increase in domestic abuse calls over xmas

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 December 2010

Archant

POLICE are sending out messages to victims of domestic violence ahead of Christmas to come forward and report the abuse

Officers want to encourage anyone who is suffering from this type of crime to have a Christmas free from violence and intimidation.

Their message forms part of this week’s police awareness campaign, Have the Christmas You Deserve.

Detective Inspector Dave Grimstead said: “We want anyone suffering abuse to have a Christmas they can look forward to, instead of fearing that things could flare up at any moment.

“And we also want to send a strong message to perpetrators that we take domestic abuse very seriously and will prosecute whenever possible.”

Last year there were 53 call outs to domestic incidents across the force area on Christmas Day and 56 on Boxing Day.

An awareness day this week forms part of a Christmas campaign which covers a different issue each day, running until December 17.

DI Grimstead added: “At this time of year there is often more drinking and more stress on families and this can lead to the types of scenarios when violence and abuse are more likely to occur.

“We hope people will feel they can pick up the phone and speak to us, or call Crimestoppers, and seek help if they are suffering this Christmas.”

Ring police to report abuse on 0845 456 7000 or in an emergency dial 999, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

• Avon and Somerset Police will be holding a web chat today (Tues) between 1pm and 2pm.

The panel will include two people who have experienced domestic abuse as well as Detective Inspector Dave Grimstead who will all be on hand to offer help and advice on this issue.

To sign up go to www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/christmas

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