More than 1500 arrests in connection with domestic abuse

As part of today’s (March 8) International Women’s Day and Mothering Sunday (March 10) police are urging victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is preventing violence against women an issue the force’s Domestic Abuse Investigations and Safeguarding Unit is focused on tackling.

Det Insp Alan Page said: “International Women’s Day is about preventing violence against women.

“I would urge anyone who is a victim of abuse not to suffer in silence and take that first step towards seeking help.

“We already know that abuse can have a dramatic impact on the children of victims so with Mother’s Day just days away this is the perfect chance to take that first step.

“In April we launched the force’s first Domestic Abuse Investigations and Safeguarding Unit (DAISU) to investigate all domestic abuse crimes, meaning victims deal with specially-trained officers.”

Last month (February) the unit detected 57 per cent of the crimes reported and since its launch in April has arrested 1555 people.

Det Insp Page added: “By providing a dedicated unit to domestic abuse and using specially trained officers we have seen a rise in reports.

“Although any rise in crime is obviously a concern I believe it is not until you start tackling the issue of domestic violence and offering the specialist advice and support that you really start to get a understanding of the extent of the problem.

“I am glad that victims are feeling empowered to come forward and speak out about what has happened to them, this is all part of the force strategy of keeping people safe.

“I can think of nothing worse than being entrapped in a relationship where you are abused physically or mentally and we have found that by providing a specialist unit, victims have felt empowered to come forward and report the abuse against them.

“If the police are called to an incident where domestic violence has appeared to have occurred positive action will be taken to. This is about empowering victims to have the confidence to speak out about what has happened to them. Sometimes people just need that little bit of support and I hope that is what we offer.

“Our specialist officers are also trained to spot the signs of abuse so by dealing with a crime from the initial stages we can work with the victims and partner agencies to provide them with the best support and advice.

“This work is resulting in high detection rates, sending out a strong message to offenders that their behaviour will not be tolerated. The majority of murders within the UK are murders that occur within a domestic environment.

“Early intervention can often stop the violence and safeguard the victim. Interventions such as non molestation orders and restraining orders can be set by the court to offer victims long term protection. Tackling the domestic violence incident today can well prevent the domestic violence murder of tomorrow.”

The force also supports the independent ‘Stop the Hurt’ programme which offers specialist treatment for low to medium risk domestic abuse offenders.

DI Page said: “While we will always focus our efforts on victims and bringing offenders to justice, we need to also look at what prevention work we can do to reduce domestic abuse.

“The ‘Stop the Hurt’ course provides offenders with support and guidance aimed at preventing offending.”

For more information about the programme call 01733 889090 or email info@peterboroughrelationshipsupport.co.uk

District domestic abuse figures:

· Huntingdon 18.5 per cent increase 486 crimes as opposed to 410 the previous year

· Cambridge City 22.6 per cent increase 440 crimes as opposed to 359 the previous year

· East Cambs 8.4 per cent increase 180 crimes as opposed to 166 the previous year

· South Cambs 21.8 per cent increase 296 crimes as opposed to 243 the previous year

· Fenland 7 per cent increase 352 crimes as opposed to 329 the previous year

· Peterborough 7.3 per cent increase 995 crimes as opposed to 927 the previous year

Arrest figures:

· Men arrested since April 2012 – 1340

· Women arrested since April 2012 - 215

Useful contact numbers: Cambridgeshire Constabulary - 101

National Domestic Violence Hotline - 0808 2000 247

Women’s Aid and Refuge; National Helpline 0808 2000 247;

Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 : 0808 801 0327 www.mensadviceline.org.uk

Everyman Project: 0207 263 8884 www.everymanproject.co.uk

Ashiana Project: 0208 539 0427. Advice and support and safe housing for South Asian, Turkish and Iranian women fleeing domestic abuse or forced marriage.

For more information about International Women’s Day visit – www.internationalwomensday.com