A senior PSNI officer has said the number of domestic violence calls police responded to on New Year's Eve is of "particular concern".
Assistant Chief Constable Mark McEwan was speaking on Friday after it was revealed that officers responded to 86 domestic abuse calls from homes across Northern Ireland in the previous 24 hours, resulting in 38 arrests.
Despite the region being under lockdown, ACC McEwan said officers had a "really busy night", responding to more than 1,000 calls in total.
Back in September, it was revealed that there was a significant increase in reports of domestic abuse made to police during the first Covid lockdown here.
There were 8,302 domestic abuse incidents recorded between April and June, with a further 567 domestic abuse calls made to the PSNI in the final week of March.
Statistics showed that there were higher levels of such calls during the April to May period than would normally have been expected for that time of year.
Commenting on the New Year's Eve figures, ACC 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 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 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.”