Fewer than 5pc of domestic abuse cases in one Norfolk town last year resulted in police officers charging a suspect.

Figures from Norfolk Constabulary show that officers were called to 1,853 reports of domestic violence in Great Yarmouth in 2023 - an average of almost six incidents every day.

Only 90 of those, however, resulted in a person being charged, or 4.8pc. This percentage is lower than the national average of 5.3pc.

In terms of outcomes, in 89 of the reports in Great Yarmouth, the victims either declined or were unable to support the police investigation to identify the offender.

In 1,165 incidents, the victim either did not support, or withdrew support, from police action.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, a charity supporting abuse victims in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “It is encouraging that people continue to come forward to access support, but we know that there will be many more that are currently experiencing domestic abuse that have not yet come forward and we would urge those people to do so."

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, a charity providing support to adults and young people looking to break free from domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk.Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, a charity providing support to adults and young people looking to break free from domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk. (Image: Denise Bradley)

She said the cost-of-living crisis has "added additional barriers that have prevented people experiencing domestic abuse from accessing support".

"A lot of perpetrators are using the situation to their advantage and many survivors are concerned about supporting themselves financially, if they were to leave," Ms Proctor said.

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"This is on top of barriers such as fears of not being believed, or not wanting to upset or unsettle children."

The figures show that since 2020 there have been 8,911 reports of domestic abuse in Great Yarmouth.

Again, that was an average of six incidents every day.

In 2022, there were 2,289 reports, down from 2,428 incidents in 2021 while the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic saw 2,341 reports.

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Over the four years included in the data, women accounted for 6,038 of the victims, while men were specified in 2,492 cases.

Ms Proctor urged anyone experiencing domestic abuse to reach out for support.

"If someone feels like they are unable to pick up the phone to talk, Leeway can be contacted via email or through the Live Chat service on our website," she said.

"We know that many people may be unable to talk for safety reasons so know how important it is to have alternative routes to access support.

“If you feel you’re not in a position to leave, consider reaching out to a trusted friend or family member and consider creating a safety plan, should things escalate to a point where you are worried about your safety. If you’re in immediate danger, always call the police.”