80 domestic abuse reports made each day in summer holidays, police say
Police receive 80 reports of domestic abuse every day throughout the summer holidays, it has emerged.
Almost 5,000 reports were made to officers in July and August last year, a senior PSNI officer has said.
Detective Chief Superintendent George Clarke, Head of the PSNI's Public Protection Branch, warned that over the holiday period, incidents of domestic abuse rise.
His warnings come as the PSNI launch a summer domestic abuse campaign.
The message of the campaign is: "If you feel like you're walking on eggshells, that's domestic abuse".
It is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents and make victims aware that they can take steps to stop it.
"We know that unfortunately over the holiday period incidents of domestic abuse rise," said Mr Clarke.
"From 1 July 2016 until 31 August 2016, there were 4,960 incidents of domestic abuse reported to us. This compared to 4,795 from the previous year, an increase of 165 incidents."
Mr Clarke said he hoped the online campaign, which will run from now until the end of August, will encourage victims to come forward to report incidents of domestic abuse.
He added that within the space of 12 months, the number of domestic abuse reports received by police rose by 774 incidents to 29,166. This is the the highest level of recorded incidents since police started recording data in 2004/05.
"We welcome the increase because we believe this shows confidence is increasing in the police," said Mr Clarke.
He warned, however: "Despite the rise in the number of reported incidents, we still believe that a large number of domestic incidents are going unreported."
The police respond to an incident of domestic abuse every 18 minutes.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past, on 0808 802 1414.
Anyone suffering from domestic abuse is encouraged to contact their local police on the non-emergency number 101. In an emergency, always call 999.