DOMESTIC ABUSE: Cases up in Cleveland during pandemic
FIGURES have revealed a spike in domestic abuse crimes recorded on Teesside during the pandemic.
A breakdown of statistics was unveiled in papers for the latest Safer Stockton Partnership with rates for the whole of Cleveland showing a 6.5% increase in recorded domestic abuse crimes in 2020/21 compared with the previous year.
This equated to 771 extra recorded cases between April 2020 and March 2021 versus the previous 12 months.
Hartlepool saw the biggest increase in recorded domestic abuse crimes with 315 extra recorded cases compared to 2019/20 – an increase of 15.2%.
Stockton ranked second with 307 more recorded cases – up 9% on the previous year.
Cleveland Police Recorded Domestic Abuse Crimes by Borough – April 2020 to March 2021
Hartlepool – 2,392 crimes – up 315 (+15.2%)
Stockton – 3,727 crimes – up 307 (+9%)
Redcar and Cleveland – 2,543 crimes – up 174 (+7.3%)
Middlesbrough – 3,969 crimes – down 25 – (-0.6%)
Concern about a rise in domestic abuse during lockdowns in the past year has seen charities flag up rising demand and increasing calls.
Charity Refuge recorded an average 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021.
Other statistics to the partnership offered more detail on incidents, repeat victims, and arrests during the past year across Stockton.
April 2020 to March 2021 saw a 3.7% rise in overall domestic abuse incidents recorded in the borough compared to the previous year – with an 11.4% increase in domestic violence crimes.
The repeat victim rate was 40.5% – up 1.4% on the previous year.
But there were also some positive trends among the statistics.
Arrest rates in Stockton for domestic abuse rose by 16.2% in 2020/21 and the victim withdrawal rate was also down.
The report added: “Between April 2020 and March 2021 the victim withdrawal rate was 51.4% while over the same period the previous year it was at 71.5%.
“This represents a decrease of 20.1% points and shows that just under 50% of victims are continuing on to prosecution.”
Cleveland Police will continue its roll out of domestic abuse response cars at weekends until the end of the delayed Euro 2020 football tournament.
Specialist support staff and workers from domestic abuse organisations are “second responders” to cases and offer help to vulnerable victims when calls of domestic abuse come.
Free 24-hour support can be accessed on the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08082 000247.
Words: Alex Metcalfe, Local Democracy Reporter
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