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Data shows rise in domestic abuse

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There were 256 more domestic violence attacks in Northern Ireland against women in the past 12 months, compared with the year before

There were 256 more domestic violence attacks in Northern Ireland against women in the past 12 months, compared with the year before

There were 256 more domestic violence attacks in Northern Ireland against women in the past 12 months, compared with the year before

The number of domestic abuse crimes committed in Northern Ireland has risen by more than 800 in the past year, figures show.

Most attacks were perpetrated against women - although a significant number were aimed at men, the Policing Board said.

The majority were carried out by partners or ex-partners but there was a notable number involving parents and children. An increase was detected in most parts of Northern Ireland.

Data compiled by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) shows that, during 2011/12, there were 10,387 domestic abuse crimes recorded, an increase on the 9,546 crimes recorded in 2010/2011.

There were an extra 433 male victims and an extra 256 female. There were an extra 81 victims aged under 18. The number of cases increased in Fermanagh and parts of Tyrone by a quarter and in east and south Belfast by a fifth.

Policing Board member Ryan Feeney said: "The board will continue to work with the PSNI to ensure it is tackled most effectively. The committee particularly welcomes recent comments from the judiciary that tougher sentences will be given for attacks, even where the victims withdraw complaints."

According to a Criminal Justice Inspectorate report from the end of 2010, one domestic violence incident happens every 21 minutes.

The report said experience has shown that incidents of domestic violence and abuse can escalate to often very tragic conclusions if not dealt with appropriately.

It noted improvements have been made in how the criminal justice system deals with cases of domestic violence and abuse, including the specialisation of investigators and prosecutors.

According to a Policing Board thematic review from last year, during 2009/10 there was a domestic abuse motivation behind approximately one in four recorded murders, manslaughters and attempted murders as well as many rapes and assaults.

PA


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