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Northern Ireland

Police were called 2,738 times about domestic abuse over Christmas

The PSNI received 95 calls related to domestic abuse on Christmas Day.

STATISTICS RELEASED BY the PSNI have shown that a total of 2,656 calls for help in relation to domestic abuse incidents were made over the Christmas period, with 95 calls on Christmas Day.

In Northern Ireland, police respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 18 minutes.

Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke said: “Although these figures are shocking, we know that a large number of incidents still go unreported to police.”

The PSNI’s domestic abuse Christmas campaign launched in the middle of December, and these figures cover the period between 15 December and 16 January.

There were 82 fewer incidents of domestic violence calls over the four weeks when compared to last year. While the PSNI received 139 calls on New Year’s Day, this was a decrease of 36 incidents for the same day in 2016.

Between October 2015 and September 2016, however, a total of 28,811 domestic abuse incidents were reported to police, which is an increase of over 600 compared to the same period in the previous year.

Clarke said: “Behind each one of the statistics is a victim who has had to endure abuse and those victims, both male and female, of all ages, may have suffered abuse many times before calling the police or contacting other agencies for assistance.

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

“Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is encouraged to contact their local police on the non-emergency 101 or in an emergency always call 999.

“A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.”

Read: Campaigners say data collection on domestic violence in Ireland at ‘crisis point’

Read: NWCI criticises €1m campaign against domestic violence, but minister says it’s backed by research

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