Chief Constable uses blog to speak of ‘hidden pandemic’ of domestic abuse
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Cleveland Police’s Chief Constable has today spoken of a ‘hidden pandemic’ of domestic abuse and praised the bravery of victims who met with him to share their stories.
The Force’s most senior officer says in December the Force dealt with 1,682 domestic abuse cases.
Last month reporting of domestic abuse increased by 12 per cent. This was also the month the Force launched a film, starring local people, which encouraged anyone suffering abuse, or worried about a friend or family member, to speak to police.
Chief Constable Richard Lewis says: “We know nationally that despite the number of incidents we record and attend, that it is a vastly under-reported crime.
“One of our great local organisations, Foundation, describe an increase in referrals to the Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) of 21 per cent between October and the end of December 2020 and across the country domestic homicide rates increased enormously during the first lockdown.”
In his blog the Chief Constable shares that through Foundation he met with a group of survivors in Redcar. He says: “I was humbled to sit with a group of survivors with Foundation in Redcar last month and to hear first-hand from those subjected to domestic abuse about the impact on their lives and their children. I was in awe of their bravery.
“If we are committed nationally to further improvement in our response, speaking directly to survivor groups is one important step amongst many. I am delighted that some of the survivors are prepared to spend time with our senior leaders at Cleveland Police to explain how our response could be better. We are committed to that improvement.”