Shocking figures lay bare domestic abuse in South Tyneside, with almost half of reported incidents witnessed by children

Figures have revealed the scale of domestic violence affecting families in South Tyneside.

According to figures produced by South Tyneside Council, more than 2,400 incidents are believed to have taken place through the whole of 2020/21.

The vast majority – 77% – involved either the partner or an ex-partner.

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And shockingly almost half of the total number of reports involved children who either “were present or witnessed the abuse”.

Figures have revealed the scale of domestic violence in South Tyneside.
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The data was revealed in a report due to go before the borough council’s Children and Adults Safeguarding Panel on Wednesday (December 7) and in the same week Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Kim McGuinness backed Vanessa Jardine - previously the force lead for domestic abuse at Greater Manchester Police and currently deputy chief constable at West Midland’s Police - to become the next Chief Constable of Northumbria Police.

The PCC said: “Our region is a safe one but crime is constantly evolving and we need to be ready for the challenges that brings.

“That’s why I’m delighted to have an officer with Vanessa’s vast experience joining our force.

“Our region faces great challenges in the years ahead, with economic hardship, austerity and the ongoing cost of living crisis set to push more families into difficulties and more young people put at risk of gangs and criminality.”

Other highlights from the local authority’s findings include:

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*Women are recorded as the victim in 75% of domestic abuse incidents in South Tynesides, compared to 25% for men

*Just 3% of reports relate to the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) community, a figure council chiefs claim is “likely to be underreported”

*More than a tenth of incidents involved a victim aged 55 or older

Alcohol was also found to be a factor in 56% of all reported incidents in 2020/21, increasing to 75% in instances of repeat domestic abuse.

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Nationally, CPS charging rate for domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales have fallen for at least three years in a row, sinking from 76% in March 2018 to 70% in March 2021.

In September, South Tyneside Council received White Ribbon accreditation, committing it to policies which will “change the cultures that lead to abuse and violence and promote gender equality”.