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This is why a rise in reports of domestic abuse in North Devon should be welcomed

PUBLISHED: 12:16 17 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:32 17 January 2018

Reports of domestic violence have increased in North Devon.

Reports of domestic violence have increased in North Devon.

KatarzynaBialasiewicz

There has been a rise of 38 per cent in reports of domestic abuse in North Devon over the last 12 months

Police in North Devon have welcomed an increase in the reporting of domestic abuse, with more and more support systems in place to help victims.

Last year saw a 38 per cent increase in reported domestic abuse – a statistic police say is down to increased reporting and not a rise in offending.

Violence without injury such as harassment and stalking has seen increased reporting, as has rape.

The latest of Devon and Cornwall Police’s support systems, Operation Encompass, was launched on Wednesday.

The initiative sees schools across the region informed of incidents where children have been impacted by domestic abuse by 9am the following morning.

Detective Inspector Prav Naidoo said: “I view the increased reporting as a good thing. Historically only a fraction of domestic abuse related offences get reported and to see an increase in reporting helps us support more victims and bring more offenders to justice”

“There is a lot of good work happening around addressing domestic abuse. In North Devon, as in other areas, we work closely with our partners to reduce the risk towards victims of domestic abuse.

“With our partners we work hard to encourage victims to report abuse, to provide an environment where victims can report offences without being judged and access support to empower them to take the necessary steps to break the cycle of abuse.”

In addition to Operation Encompass, police in North Devon have a range of tools at their disposal to help victims, including the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s Law.

The scheme allows members of the public to make inquiries about individuals they are in a relationship with where there is a concern of abuse, with forms available from the Devon and Cornwall Police website.

The police are also working to help victims once reports have been made.

DI Naidoo said: “The prospect of crime giving evidence in court can be daunting, for victims of domestic abuse this is even more so.

“Dedicated support is provided to victims of domestic abuse through the criminal justice system by specialist advisors employed by North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, who will support victims from the moment an offender has been arrested to the point the court proceedings have ended.

“Splitz provide support to medium and high risk victims of domestic abuse to help them come to terms with and overcome their difficulties and challenges. They are a fantastic service and accept self-referrals.”

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