Tackling the increase in domestic violence at Christmas

Humberside Police is increasing resources to deal with a seasonal surge in domestic violence.

Operation Nightwing will see extra funding and additional officers assigned to domestic violence duties over the Christmas and New Year period.

The force is also collaborating with other local organisations to provide support to victims of abuse.

According to Humberside Police figures, 8,566 women reported incidents of domestic abuse in 2010.

Det Insp Carl Vessey-Baitson from Hull's Public Protection Team, said: "Over the festive period historically there is an increase in domestic violence, therefore these specialist resources are vital to support those suffering from abuse."

After receiving a call the force will use dedicated "domestic violence response cars" to attend suspected incidents alongside the normal emergency police patrol.

Officers from the team will handle the investigation and gather evidence. They will also refer people to domestic abuse support services.

One of the partner projects in the initiative is the Hull Domestic Abuse Partnership (DAP), who offer advice and refuge to victims.

Vicki Paddison, strategic domestic violence services manager at Hull DAP, said the pressure of dealing with Christmas could often trigger violence within families.

"People are at home. The stress and anxiety of Christmas is often raised, for many, many families but particularly where there is domestic violence evident, she said

"They've got the break-up of schools. The increasing pressure in terms of having to buy presents and food for the Christmas period, and that raises anxiety and stress within families. Which, ultimately increases the domestic abuse."

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