SHOCK figures have revealed a rising tide of domestic abuse in West Mercia over the lockdown months – with fears the situation will get worse as Christmas approaches.
From April to September of this year, there were 9,060 domestic abuse crimes within West Mercia, of which 299 were coercive control offences.
The total figure is a four per cent increase on the previous year.
However, police say this doesn’t tell the whole story as many people will have been living with violence, fear and controlling behaviour day in day out for months, if not years.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion has reaffirmed his commitment to work with communities and do better for those that suffer at the hands of a loved one.
He has finalised plans which focus on reducing the number of people abused or exposed to domestic abuse and ensuring the right support is provided locally to victims and survivors.
He is also working with partners and West Mercia Police to disrupt abusive behaviour and improve police response.
There has already been significant investment by the PCC to tackle the issue get to the root cause, which includes working with perpetrators.
He said: “We, as a society, cannot continue to just accept this behaviour as a fact of life.
“Victims, survivors, their children and loved ones deserve better.
“This includes better help at the time of crisis to be kept safe, better help to cope and recover from the trauma, better support from the criminal justice system to bring those responsible to justice and better action to drive this horrible crime from our society.
“We, as a whole community, need to see this as a problem, not a crime type that is almost dismissed or ignored because we don’t think it’s happening to us or someone we know.
“More people need to understand the extent of the problem and the fact domestic abuse can manifest itself in many different ways.
“It is my commitment to transform the local response and ensure we’re doing the very best for the victims.”
The PCC’s Domestic Abuse strategy can be viewed here: shorturl.at/ilzBP
The free, confidential National Domestic Abuse helpline is open 24 hours a day every day – 0808 2000 247