A rise in domestic abuse cases causes concern to the police.
A worrying number of domestic abuse callouts were received by the PSNI in the 24-hour period covering New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day writes Laura Barr.
A total of 86 incidents of domestic abuse were received by police from homes across Northern Ireland.
As a result of this, 38 arrests were made.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan said: “Sadly, we know domestic abuse doesn’t only occur at Christmas, that it happens all year round.
“Historically however, figures show over the Christmas period that incidents of domestic abuse rise.
“We also know that during this pandemic more people have been and will continue to spend more time at home than they usually would.
“The combined impact of this pandemic and the festive season will have made it really tough for people experiencing abuse and, in some situations, even worse.
“This is a challenging time for everyone, but the help we can offer anyone suffering abuse hasn’t changed, and I want to take this opportunity to reassure anyone who finds themselves in an abusive situation to know that they are not alone, that help is available.
“We, as your police service, are here for you.
“We will listen to you and we will take action.”
Speaking to Down News about the alarming figures, Slieve Croob Councillor, Róisín Howell said it was “very worrying” to hear of so many incidents relating to the matter.
“Christmas and the New Year were always going to be very different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and anyone living with domestic violence may have felt more isolated than ever before.
“It is so vitally important that people who are experiencing domestic violence or find themselves in situations where they fear this may happen seek help and leave their home despite the current restrictions.
“The domestic abuse services remain open and available, even during the current circumstances.
“Women’s Aid is still there to provide help for women and children who are at risk” Cllr Howell added.
“The Men’s Advisory Project is there for men under threat and in need of support or help.