Domestic abuse calls to the police surged by more than a tenth in London during lockdown, research reveals, driven by reports from neighbours and family members.
There were 45,000 calls to the Metropolitan police concerning domestic abuse in the 11 weeks from 23 March, up 11.4% on average compared with the same period in 2019.
The increase – which equated to about 380 more domestic abuse calls a week – was driven by third-party reports, such as neighbours, rather than the victims, researchers at the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) found.
Prof Tom Kirchmaier, the director of the CEP’s policing and crime research group and co-author, said: “The increase in calls from third parties might point to an increased awareness of noise because neighbours are now at home, or a potential under-reporting by domestic abuse victims, or a combination of these factors.”
The London School of Economics and the Met launched a social media campaign during the period, directing people to tobeheard.co.uk, which provides information on how 999 calls can be used to alert the police even if the caller cannot speak.
Working with the Met’s Strategic Insight Unit, the team found the overall level of domestic abuse crimes – not calls – remained stable during lockdown when compared with the long-term trend.
However, while abuse by ex-partners fell by 9.4%, abuse by current partners and family members increased significantly – by 8.5% and 16.4% respectively.
Dr Ria Ivandić, the research co-author and postdoctoral CEP research economist, said: “There has been a considerable shift in the type of abuse recorded during lockdown, with abuse by ex-partners falling but abuse by current partners or family members rising.
“This is important as it shows some people are suffering considerably more: these victims should be targeted by focused policies. Our work also highlights the opportunity to consider how to maintain a reduction in ex-partner abuse as the lockdown eases.”
As the lockdown was imposed, there were warnings from domestic abuse charities that the “pressure cooker” conditions would lead to a spike in domestic violence.
In early May, the government announced a £76m package to support the most vulnerable in society, including victims of domestic violence and modern slavery, rough sleepers and vulnerable children.
The government’s flagship domestic abuse bill is passing through parliament before becoming law, and is currently with the House of Lords.
The bill contains clauses requiring domestic abusers to take polygraph tests – commonly referred to as lie-detector tests – on release, and regulations to ban perpetrators from cross-examining victims during family court proceedings.
In the UK, call the national domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visit Women’s Aid. In Australia, the national family violence counselling service is on 1800 737 732. In the US, the domestic violence hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international helplines may be found via www.befrienders.org
- After Caroline Flack's death, the CPS should reconsider how it handles domestic abuse cases
- Was CPS under pressure to pursue Caroline Flack 'show trial'? Ex-chief prosecutor tells how just 10% of Britain's 750,000 domestic abuse reports ended in prosecution last year
- The death of Sharron Maasz shows why domestic abuse services are vital
- JAN MOIR: All hail Camilla for shining a light on a horror that goes unseen with her campaign against domestic abuse
- 'I am NOT a domestic abuser': Caroline Flack's family release a defiant unpublished Instagram post she wrote about her arrest before she killed herself - ahead of her inquest today
- Duchess of Cornwall gives moving speech at domestic abuse charity reception
- Caroline Flack’s family release unseen Instagram post in which she insists: ‘I’m not a domestic abuser’
- Caroline Flack insisted: ‘I’m not a domestic abuser’ in unseen Instagram post shared by family
- 'Not all domestic abuse is physical': Hannah Clarke's family opens up about 'controlling' Rowan Baxter
- Medical student, 19, who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in a year-long campaign of abuse moaned to police arresting him he'd thrown away his future career
- Man arrested after stabbing inside mosque in London: police
- 'The door was always left open for her return': ITV boss Kevin Lygo pays tribute to Caroline Flack and says Love island producers 'remained in regular contact' with her after she stepped down to fight domestic abuse claims
- My husband’s desperate Valentine’s Day cards masked horrific abuse that ended in him shooting me – then hanging himself
- Defendants 'gaming system' to get domestic violence cases dropped
- Horrific murder of mother and three children renews calls for greater action on domestic violence
- Coronavirus: Police Raids Across Moscow to Track Down Chinese Nationals
- London Cops Looked On as Extinction Rebellion Dug Up Grass Outside Govt Office
- Police: Woman Charged After 2 Young Children Found Living In Home With Garbage Piles And Cockroaches
- Duchess of Cornwall reveals how her OWN friends suffered domestic violence and the victims' stories behind her personal campaign on behalf of abused women in an emotional interview
- Metropolitan Police refer themselves to the complaints watchdog over contact officers had with Caroline Flack before her death
Domestic abuse calls to London police rise by a tenth during lockdown have 840 words, post on www.theguardian.com at July 14, 2020. This is cached page on Travel News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.