Figures reveal huge rise in domestic abuse in West Midlands over Christmas

Calls to West Midlands Police about incidents of domestic abuse over Christmas increased by more than 60 per cent compared to the same period last year.

West Midlands Police say they have seen the highest ever recorded cases of domestic abuse and now, more than ever, the force is urging anyone who is not feeling safe in their home to seek help.

Between Christmas Eve and December 29, the force were called to 1,250 incidents of domestic abuse.

Officers made 191 arrests during those six days - which accounted for almost 30 per cent of the force’s total arrests.

Superintendent Jenny Skyrme, from the force’s public protection unit, said: “The Prime Minister has stressed that leaving home to escape domestic abuse is not a breach of coronavirus restrictions and we do not want anyone to feel isolated or trapped in their own home.

“We have not reduced our response to victims during this pandemic and we, along with many other agencies, are encouraging anyone who needs help to escape an abusive relationship to contact us.”

In recent months, a new scheme has been developed by the Home Office. “Ask for ANI” (Action Needed Immediately) enables victims of domestic abuse to access immediate help from the police or other support services, from the safety of their local pharmacy.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, added: “We have seen a huge surge in domestic abuse in the past 12 months and it is good to see our force taking tough action against offenders.

“My message to those suffering is report it, there is help available for you.

“There is never an excuse for domestic abuse.

“The new Ask for ANI scheme is another way in which people who are suffering can come forward and access help and support if they are a victim.

“We need to ensure that reporting domestic abuse and getting support is as easy as possible. This new scheme has my full support.”

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