Domestic abuse reports up 77% during lockdown

DOMESTIC abuse reports rose by 77% during lockdown last year, according to figures in the 2020 annual report from Bailiwick Law Enforcement.

Head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardywith the 2020 annual report. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29837871)
Head of Law Enforcement Ruari Hardywith the 2020 annual report. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29837871)

Among the incidents reported were neighbour disputes, domestic disputes and assaults, plus mental health episodes.

Dealing with these reports was among the challenges faced by the island’s police and customs officers during 2020, which as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic also saw the setting up of a special unit to deal with the identification of dead people, and officers pursuing cases where individuals were accused of breaching Covid-19 isolation requirements.

Not all of the reports of domestic abuse led to people being charged with offences, said head of law enforcement Ruari Hardy.

‘A number of those calls didn’t result in crimes being recorded, but it meant that officers had to give advice, support families and make suggestions to stop problems escalating further,’ he said.

‘It obviously was a difficult time for some families and some households and our staff were there to support.’

On occasions referrals were made to other agencies, such as Safer, and social services, he said.

Report numbers were similar to the previous year for the first three months, but during April and May they saw a dramatic increase.

There were 62 and 61 calls respectively, according to figures released by BLE, compared to 35 in April 2019 and 25 in May that year.

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