PSNI Received 2,228 Domestic-Abuse Calls Over Christmas Period

The PSNI responded to a total of 2,228 domestic abuse calls between 20th November 2023 and 2nd January 2024, during their annual Operation 'Season's Greetings'.

On these key festive dates from 24th December 2023 to 1st January 2024, the service also arrested more under 18s for domestic abuse related offences than the previous three years. A total of seven were remanded in custody.

Detective Chief Superintendent Lindsay Fisher of the Police Service's Public Protection Branch said: "It saddens me every year, when Christmas time approaches, that the reality for so many is that it isn't a happy, enjoyable time for their family.

"Usually we see reports of domestic abuse increase at this time of the year and although this year's figures are substantially more than the daily average, we are seeing the numbers of reports for the festive period begin to decrease from the highly inflated figures during and in the aftermath of the pandemic.

"This year however we have seen an increase in under 18s being arrested and detained for domestic abuse offences. We have focused our awareness raising communications over the last year predominantly on social media and have seen a notable reach with a younger audience. We hope this has played some part in giving young people the confidence to recognise and report abusive behaviours.

"It must never be forgotten that behind each one of these numbers is a victim who, statistics suggest, has endured up to 35 incidents of abuse before coming forward to report.

"We are determined to do all we can to protect them and bring perpetrators to justice. During this year's festive operation we made 1,113 arrests for domestic abuse offences, an increase of nearly 12% compared to last year. 368 of these have already resulted in a charge.

"Domestic abuse, in all its forms, has no place in our society and tackling these crimes remains one of Police Service of Northern Ireland's top priorities.”

In total, 22,323 999 calls (not just relating to domestic abuse) were received by police during the Christmas period with 95.2% of those answered within ten seconds. The average answer time for 999 calls during the period was five seconds.

Domestic abuse is not just physical. If your partner or loved one is being threatening, controlling, violent or abusive towards you, this is a crime. For more information on the different forms of domestic abuse visit: www.psni.police.uk/safety-and-support/keeping-safe/protecting-yourself/domestic-abuse.

If you are suffering at the hands of an abusive partner or family member or worried about someone you love who might be, please report to the Police on 101 or in an emergency always dial 999.

If it is an emergency and you've dialled 999 but cannot speak then stay on the line and press 55 when prompted, then cough or tap in response to the operator's queries. This is called the 'silent solution'.

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

Remember you also have the right to ask if you are worried that someone you know might have a history of domestic abuse. The Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme (DVADS) is operated by the police and allows enquiries to be made about partners, ex partners or someone else's partner. Find out more: www.psni.police.uk/safety-and-support/keeping-safe/protecting-yourself/domestic-abuse/domestic-violence-and-abuse

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