Domestic abuse up by 27% in Shotley peninsula area during pandemic

By Derek Davis

10th Feb 2021 | Local News

Domestic abuse reports on the Shotley peninsula and neighbouring areas have risen by a quarter during the Covid-19 crisis, latest police data shows.

Suffolk Constabulary figures for the 12 months to the end of December revealed 3,655 domestic abuse reports for the Ipswich and south Suffolk area – a 27% increase on the 2,867 average for the prior three years.

Four in every five domestic abuse cases reported were considered violent, the data showed.

Domestic abuse made up 17% of all crime in the area, which covers the likes of Ipswich, Hadleigh, Martlesham, Felixstowe, the Shotley peninsula, and through up to the border for Aldeburgh and around to Otley.

Officers said that the Covid-19 restrictions , which have forced people to be in their homes more, has had an impact, but urged victims to seek help if they were at risk.

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, head of crime, safeguarding and incident management at Suffolk Constabulary, said: "To anyone who is having a difficult time in an abusive relationship, please know that there is help available.

"We understand that staying at home and the effects of lockdown can leave a lot of people feeling trapped and isolated.

"We would strongly encourage anyone who is suffering the effects of domestic abuse or feeling threatened to stay safe and seek help in any way they can.

"If you are not sure what to do or where to turn during this difficult time, then contacting us through the Suffolk police website or 101 is the first step to getting the help you need.

"Our specialist team who will listen and talk through your options, maintaining discretion and directing you to the most appropriate support and resources."

Elsewhere, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a dramatic fall in neighbourhood crime. Residential burglary crimes were down 37%, thefts from motor vehicles down 33% and thefts of motor vehicles had fallen by 32% in the force's south area.

Chief Inspector Stuart Weaver told last week's scrutiny committee at Ipswich Borough Council that while the pandemic had helped reduce those opportunities for criminals, there had also been pro-active policing last year to tackle those issues while there were fewer calls to officers.

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