Essex: Domestic abuse cases rise

THE number of domestic abuse incidents in Essex has risen by 20% in just one year, figures reveal.

Between July 2010 and July 2011 there were 24,518 incidents reported to Essex Police compared to 29,305 over the same time period in 2011/12.

The number of high risk cases - defined as a pattern of abuse which presents a risk of serious harm or murder - recorded between August 2011 and July this year was 2,494.

The force says there has been an increased focus on training for officers which has helped identify domestic abuse incidents, which accounts for the rise.

Essex Police also said they have introduced better monitoring and auditing processes around this type of crime, while victims have become more confident in reporting incidents which is a positive sign.

However, both the police and domestic abuse charities said there were still many domestic abuse crimes which go unreported and the actual number of incidents was likely to be much higher.

A spokesman from Essex Police said: “During this period, Essex Police has introduced new and highly robust processes for investigating and dealing with incidents of domestic abuse. This has led to an increase in the recording of incidents of domestic abuse.

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“Essex Police together with partners have in the last twelve months been particularly focusing on ensuring we capture all domestic abuse related incidents and those relating to vulnerable adults. This is in line with central government guidance particularly around vulnerable people.

“It also seeks to ensure that when the risk to individuals is being assessed by police this is being done while in possession of the best possible intelligence picture as to the course of victimisation and offending that is taking place.

“From a statistical point of view much of this effort will register as an apparent increase in repeat offending. It is however a clear indication of greater responsiveness on the part of Essex Police to the risks inherent in these disturbing crimes.”