The Police Service of Northern Ireland has today, 15th December, launched a domestic abuse Christmas campaign, as part of their annual Op Season’s Greetings public messaging.
Scheduled to run until mid-January across the Police Service’s online channels, the aim of the campaign is to encourage the reporting of incidents and make victims aware they can take steps to stop it.
Chief Inspector Lindsay Fisher, from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Public Protection Branch, said: “Sadly, for many people Christmas isn’t always the most wonderful time of the year.
“During the festive period, we often see reports of domestic abuse increase, last year we received more than 3,000 calls for help.
“It is important that anyone suffering from domestic abuse and those who are perpetrating these crimes, know that the police are still here working around the clock to keep people safe.”
Looking at the figures from last year’s campaign, which ran from early December until mid-January, 111 incidents of domestic abuse were reported on Christmas Day alone, an increase of 15 on the year before.
On 26th December, there were 132 domestic abuse incidents, an increase of 14 reports from the Christmas period the previous year, along with 100 domestic crimes, an increase of 27.
On New Year's Day, the Police Service received reports of 139 incidents of domestic abuse.
Sending out a strong message to abusers this Christmas Chief Inspector Lindsay Fisher, added: “Domestic abuse is not just physical. If you are threatening, controlling or being violent or abusive towards someone you are in a relationship with or a family member, this is a crime.
“You can’t hide these behaviours or the damage they cause.
“The public and the police know the warning signs and we will continue to empower people to come forward and report to us.
“What you are doing is domestic abuse. When reported to us, you will face the consequences.”
Please be aware of the signs to look out for in people’s behaviours this festive period. Be vigilant:
Is your friend or family member distant and distracted?
Not acting themselves?
Are they hiding their body, do you suspect they may have been physically hurt?
If you are suffering at the hands of an abusive partner or family member or worried about someone you love who might be, please report to the Police.
You don’t need to stay silent. The Police Service of Northern Ireland is here to help you. 24 hours a day. Every day.
Call your local police on the non-emergency 101 or, in an emergency, call 999.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414.
You can find out more about the warning signs of Domestic Abuse here: https://www.psni.police.uk/crime/domestic-abuse/domestic-abuse-behaviours/
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