Police arrest over 2,000 for lockdown domestic abuse
More than 2,000 arrests were made for domestic abuse-related crimes in Northumbria during the first coronavirus lockdown, new figures reveal.
Figures from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary show Northumbria Police made 2,157 arrests for domestic abuse-related crimes between April and June.
Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest domestic abuse crimes were already rising in Northumbria before the pandemic struck.
In the year to March, 17% of all crimes in the area were linked to domestic abuse – 24,710 – the same level as the year before, but an increase on the 13% in 2018.
Nationally, domestic abuse offences have risen steadily as a proportion of all crimes for the last four years, reaching 15% in 2019-20.
Domestic abuse charity Refuge confirmed there was a general increase in demand for its services at this time, and it continued to see peaks in demand during the second lockdown.
Lisa King, director of communications at the charity, said: "It is important to remember that behind all of these statistics are real woman.
"Domestic abuse is biggest social issue facing women today, and these statistics show it simply isn't going away."
Safeguarding Minister Victoria Atkins said the Government's Domestic Abuse Bill, currently awaiting its second reading in the House of Lords, will strengthen protections for victims and also ensure perpetrators feel the full force of the law.
She added: “We are acutely aware that for some people home is not a safe place and that the pandemic put those people in greater danger.
"That is why we are taking action, alongside our partners including the police, to better protect victims and bring perpetrators to justice.”