Ten more daily domestic abuse calls made at Xmas

POLICE received 10 more calls a day about domestic abuse during the Christmas and New Year period according to new figures.

Sussex Police ran Operation Cranberry from December 20 to January 1 for the fifth year in succession.

They normally field 63 calls a day about the issue but the number rose to 73.

Officers went on dedicated patrols wearing video cameras to help secure vital evidence.

In East Sussex there were 348 incidents reported out of 979 across the Sussex Police area. This resulted in 257 specific crime reports of various kinds ranging from assault to harassment.

The incident call numbers ranged from 61 on December 21 to 127 on New Year’s Day.

The Sunday before Christmas and Christmas Day were the next highest with 75 and 85 respectively.

Domestic abuse is always treated as a priority by the force, but due to the regular increase in incidents throughout the festive season it was vital there were sufficient resources available to manage and respond to calls for urgent help.

Every day of the campaign, teams of uniformed officers worked a dedicated shift to attend incidents of domestic abuse as their sole priority over all other types of policing incidents.

Officers were also kept up to date by intelligence briefings about victims who may be particularly vulnerable and about specific offenders who may pose a higher risk.

In addition to officers attending the homes of victims, teams of specialist detectives carry out follow-up investigations into domestic abuse crimes.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne said: “It is sad to know that even during what is meant to be a happy festive time for friends and family, Sussex Police were responding to a huge amount of domestic abuse incidents. The need for dedicated patrols over Christmas and the New Year has proved again to be a necessity.

“I am grateful to the officers who worked these shifts and helped those victims who had the courage to contact Sussex Police and seek help. The increase in reporting gives Sussex Police a better understanding of how widespread domestic abuse is.

“I fully support the recent campaigns with partner agencies to raise awareness of the issue and it will continue to be a high priority for me.”

Detective inspector Stuart Hale, from the force’s Protecting Vulnerable People Branch, said: “This was the fifth year that we operated these force-wide patrols, anticipating that this period would be particularly busy with calls for help. Again we were sadly proved correct. During this period we received an average of 73 such calls compared to 63.”