Increase in domestic abuse calls across Norfolk

Norfolk police dealt with almost 9,200 reports of domestic violence last year – the equivalent of 25 a day – new figures have revealed.

Figures obtained by the EDP following a question asked in Parliament about the number of domestic abuse incidents reported in each constituency in each of the last four years show that last year (2009/10) the force dealt with 9,193.

The figure is up from 2008/09 when there were 7,097 reports of domestic violence dealt with by the Norfolk force and up 1,300 from 2006/07 when there were 7,893 reports of domestic abuse.

In comparison, police in Suffolk received 7,319 reports of domestic abuse in 2009/10 compared to 5,339 in 2006/07, and there were 11,603 reports received by the Cambridgeshire force last year compared to 6,874 in 2006/07.

While the figures, which have come to light just days after it was announced sexual offences rose by 19pc in 2010/11 to 743, might point to an alarming rise in domestic abuse, police chiefs in Norfolk say it could be an indicator of increased confidence and reporting by victims.

Det Supt Katie Elliott, head of the force’s vulnerable people directorate, said: “We have specially trained officers in place to provide a first response to victims of sexual offences and domestic abuse to support them through the criminal justice process along with a dedicated team of detectives formed to investigate rapes. In addition, we also ensure that officers investigating these crimes are closely supervised and we are currently working to improve our services further by working more closely with partner agencies including our local Primary Care Trusts, local authorities and the CPS.”

She added: “In terms of domestic abuse, all victims and witnesses involved in cases going through the court process are referred to the Witness Care Unit. They provide a single point of contact until the court case is finished and will contact you, keep you informed about your case and arrange on-going support.”

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Witness care officers can work with victims to overcome any issues or problems they may have about coming to court, ranging from childcare issues to fears of intimidation.

The police and Crown Prosecution Service also work with Victim Support and Leeway Women’s Aid.