ON THE BEAT: By Inspector Jim Tyner
We measure recorded crime as a ‘year to date’ figure since April 1. In South Holland overall recorded crime is down compared to the same period last year. However one area where we are seeing an increase is in violent crime, where there is a 20 per cent increase on the same period last year.
I have looked at the assaults that have been recorded in the last month, to see if there are particular times or locations that should concern us.
In the past month there have been 37 assaults recorded in South Holland. That’s a little over one a day. Of those crimes, only two were linked to fights outside pubs or clubs; two were linked to neighbour disputes and two were assaults involving school children.
There were two assaults in care homes and 17 were linked to domestic abuse. There were a further five assaults in private homes, not linked to domestic abuse. Out of the 37 assaults, 24 took place in homes and only five of the 37 involved strangers.
So on most occasions the victim knew their attacker.
Clearly, much of our work revolves around domestic abuse. Including the 17 recorded crimes, there were a total of 91 domestic abuse incidents in South Holland in January.
These vary from people seeking advice, or concern for a relative in an abusive relationship. They also include other crimes such as harassment, often by social media or text messaging.
It’s rather sad that, as Valentine’s Day approaches, I’m talking about domestic abuse. What’s even sadder is that statistics show that if Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday there is likely to be an increase in domestic violence.
A primary function of the police is around prevention of crime. So this brings enormous challenges: how do we prevent domestic abuse? Is there really a rise in domestic abuse assaults or are we seeing increased reporting as victims become more confident that we will take action?
Domestic abuse is a horrible crime that cuts across social boundaries. Nationally, one-in-four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives as will one-in-six men, with the police receiving a call about domestic abuse every minute in the UK. Two women are murdered every week in England and Wales at the hands of their partners or ex-partners.
We actively encourage the reporting of domestic abuse and will take all such reports seriously and work with a number of partner agencies to address domestic abuse.
One of the ways to prevent domestic abuse is by dealing resolutely with perpetrators. Where there is suspicion of an offence, we will always make an arrest. If there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution, we will always seek a prosecution.
Where the evidence falls short for a prosecution, we will consider new powers such as Domestic Violence Protection Notices.
Readers can help us fight abuse. Don’t be afraid to report concerns if you think a neighbour may be a victim. If you are concerned about a relative or friend’s new partner, you can use the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (known as ‘Clare’s Law’).
The aim of this scheme is to give members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquiries about an individual who they are in a relationship with or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be violent towards their partner.
If police checks show that the individual has a record of violent offences, or there is other information to indicate the person you know is at risk, the police will consider sharing this information with the person(s) best placed to protect the potential victim.
If you have concerns, don’t be afraid to call us.
For many years domestic abuse was a hidden crime: not talked about; rarely reported.
Thankfully those days are over.