Domestic violence arrests up by 40 per cent

SUFFOLK: Arrests for domestic violence in the county have rocketed by 40 per cent over a three-year period, it emerged today.

Last year 2,287 suspects were detained by police compared to 1,632 in 2007, according to Suffolk Constabulary.

Figures also show that the category of most serious violent crime in a domestic setting has increased by 350pc over the same period, from 14 cases to 49.

Police believe continued efforts have led to an increase in the number of women and men who find the courage to come forward.

Detective Superintendent Alan Caton said: “I believe these figures indicate that confidence in the police - and of all the agencies involved in dealing with domestic violence - is growing, leading to an increase in reports and arrests.

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“This is a positive sign and we’d anticipated that this would be the case, following a great deal of hard work and commitment by the constabulary and its partners.

“Tackling domestic abuse is a continuing priority and there is a huge amount of ongoing work taking place in the county, from the introduction of the specialist domestic violence courts in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury, to the appointment of independent domestic violence advisors for each of these three areas. Specialist victim care centres have been established for some years in Suffolk with specially trained officers on hand to help and support to victims of this type of crime.

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“The Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferencing (MARAC) is in place countywide, which aims to help the most high-risk and repeat victims of domestic offences.

“Domestic violence and abuse can take many forms, and can happen repeatedly. It is a cycle of abuse that if left unchallenged can become more frequent and severe.”

Sally Gold, chief executive of Ipswich Women’s Aid, said: “Domestic violence is repetitive, life-threatening and can destroy the lives of women and children

“It is very isolating. Because of the controlling environment women are quite often totally cut off from any outside social network in any way.

“As a person’s self-worth becomes less and less it makes it harder to break the spiral.

“Ipswich Women’s Aid is well known within Suffolk for providing an independent and specialist service. Services include two refuges within Ipswich, advice and support, out of hours support and advice, a resettlement service, a drop-in centre where no appointment is necessary, free legal surgeries, therapeutic groups, counselling, freedom programme and self esteem groups

“The number of women and children accessing our accommodation service is fairly constant with an average of 100 women and 120 children per year being temporarily housed with IWA.

“A recent pilot outreach service has highlighted a huge need across Suffolk with the team supporting over 200 women in the pilot’s year.”

N Has your life been blighted by domestic violence? E-mail or write to Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN


Suffolk Domestic Violence Helpline 0800 783 5121.

For emergencies ring 999, for non-emergencies telephone Suffolk Police on 01473 613500.

Ipswich Women’s Aid 01473 745111 – 24 hours 7 days a week

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