Met arrests in London domestic violence crackdown

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Police in London have so far arrested 320 people in a week-long crackdown on domestic violence.

Officers carried out a series of raids across the capital earlier as part of the operation targeting prolific and dangerous offenders.

According to police, about one in three women will suffer some form of physical or sexual abuse by their partner.

The arrests, made since Monday, were for offences including rape, assault, threats to kill and harassment.

Assistant Commissioner Simon Byrne said: "Suffering behind closed doors should not and cannot be ignored."

White Ribbon Day

Domestic violence in numbers:

  • About one million women experience at least one incident of domestic abuse each year
  • According to one study (Walby and Allen, 2004), 26% of men have experienced at least one incident
  • Domestic violence is witnessed by 750,000 children each year
  • An average of two women are killed each week by their partner or ex-partner
  • One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime
  • But women are attacked an average of 35 times before reporting an incident to the police

Source: Crown Prosecution Service

Operation Athena, which began on Monday, is being led by specially trained officers in the Metropolitan Police's community safety units.

It coincides with White Ribbon Day - the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - which was on 25 November.

The initiative targets offenders responsible for both domestic abuse and hate crimes.

People were arrested on suspicion of a range of offences including assault, harassment, criminal damage, rape, threats to kill and possession of class A and B drugs.

As well as targeting offenders, the Met is working with local outreach workers, victim-focused workshops and multi-agency drop-in centres.

Mr Byrne said: "The scale of the violence and abuse caused by those in domestic relationships is shocking.

"We all have a responsibility to put a stop to domestic violence."

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