Sussex Police steps up domestic abuse patrols over Christmas

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Police in Sussex will be stepping up patrols to combat domestic violence over the festive period.

The police force has a ‘robust’ plan of action to tackle cases of domestic violence over Christmas and New Year, when there is usually a rise in these kinds on incidents.

Sussex Police said the increase over the holiday period is often down to higher alcohol consumption, combined with families spending more time than usual with each other.

Detective Superintendent Paul Furnell, head of safeguarding and Investigations, said, “At Christmas and the New Year generally we have seen a rise in reports of domestic abuse. This may be due to excessive alcohol consumption, people spending more time at home, or financial pressures, but whatever the reason there are no excuses.

“There may be only one chance when people reach out to us, so we aim to ensure that we always put the needs of the victim first, to help people with rebuilding their lives.”

Sussex Police has a number of plans in place to deal with domestic violence.

This includes visiting more than 40 people who have records for repeated domestic abuse of partners with a warning of ‘robust’ action if re-offending occurs. Meanwhile more than 150 people who have been victims of domestic violence, or who have been reluctant to engage with police will be visited.

Dedicated patrols will be responding to reports of domestic abuse over the Christmas and New Year period, with officers equipped with body-worn video cameras to help secure vital evidence, as part of the force’s year-round campaign to encourage reporting of such incidents. There will be dedicated patrols to deal with these kinds of incidents from today, all the way through to the New Year.

Last year the Christmas and New Year holidays were once again peak periods for reports of domestic abuse in Sussex, according to police figures. The dedicated patrols began on December 20 and continued until January 1. A total of 979 incident calls were responded to across Sussex by those units and other officers, resulting in 257 specific crime reports of various kinds ranging from assault to harassment.

But officers continue to respond to and deal with such calls the year round and the force, working with partners, also prioritises the issue through the ongoing Talk To Us campaign which encourages reporting domestic abuse. For advice and support visit www.sussex.police.uk or call 101.