Domestic violence is increasing year on year in Cumbria.
A report from Cumbria police highlights that the number of alcohol related domestic violence incidents in particular rose over the festive period last year.
“We work every year to highlight and showcase the ways in which victims of domestic violence can get help. Seeing an increase in the number of reports does not mean that it is not being tackled, it shows that people want to report it.
“It is a fact that domestic violence can be chronically under-reported so although an increase in violence of any kind is very worrying, the rise in the number of incidents we recorded may also be encouraging if it meant that more people had the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help."
– Detective Superintendent Mike Forrester
Last year Cumbria Police’s Crime Prevention Officersvisited 267 high risk victims of domestic abuse across the county, to helpensure they were as safe as possible from further attack.
This work is known as the “Sanctuary Scheme”. It was carried out in partnership with Cumbria Fire & Rescue Service and housing providers, so that families who are living in fear can have the reassurance of a level of security that will afford them some protection.
“I welcome the fact that there have been more reports of domestic violence showing that victims are willing to come forward.
"However, I am extremely disappointed that these latest set of figures show how much domestic violence is alcohol related there is no excuse for this type of behaviour. It is only by us all working together that we will make a difference.”
– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner
More than half of all reported domestic violence incidents from across Cumbria over the Christmas period, were alcohol related.
The figures, released by Cumbria police, show that there were 950 reports of domestic violence between 19th November and 6th January, with 498 of them related to alcohol.
In December alone, 612 domestic violence incidents were reported to police, compared to 552 in 2011.
"We know that domestic violence can be chronically under-reported so although an increase in violence of any kind is very worrying, the rise in the number of incidents we recorded may also be encouraging if it meant that more people had the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help.
"What is very concerning - although not that surprising - is that more than half of the incidents police were called to had escalated as a result of too much alcohol."
– Detective Chief Inspector Mike Forrester, Cumbria Police