"Do not suffer in silence" say police after new figures show thousands suffer domestic abuse in Calderdale

There were 14,155 incidents of domestic abuse in Calderdale over the last three years, according to new figures.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 9:50 am

Investigations are ongoing into 723 incidents, while a charge or summons has been brought for 1,082 of the incidents.

An adult or youth caution was handed out for 204 of the cases, while for 63 of the incidents, further investigation or prosecution wasn't deemed to be in the public interest.

11,058 of the incidents were classed as violence against the person, 857 were public order offences, 836 were arson and criminal damage, 459 were theft, 388 were sexual offences, 245 were miscellaneous crimes against society, 102 were vehicle offences, 99 were fraud, 82 were burglary, 20 were robbery, seven were possession of weapons and two were drug offences.

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Domestic abuse

There were 4,714 incidents in 2019, 4,560 in 2020 and 4,881 in 2021, according to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Courier.

Angela Everson, chief executive of the WomenCentre in Halifax, said: "Calderdale Staying Safe Domestic Abuse Support Service that is part of WomenCentre delivers the Domestic Abuse Service for Calderdale.

"The service works with all victims of DA and is part of Calderdale’s multi-agency approach to working with DA victims.

"We receive a high percentage of referrals to the service from the police via the Calderdale DA Hub each year. On average we received 2,000 annual referrals in both 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

"The statistics in Calderdale tell us that victims of DA are continuing to report incidents to the police as well as to partner agencies, but we know from national data that there is evidence that on average high-risk victims live with domestic abuse for 2.3 years and medium risk victims for three years before getting help.

"It is hard for any person to believe that the person they believed to be in a trusting and loving relationship with could be abusive towards them. There is always hope that the person will change.

"In Calderdale, agencies work together to assess risk and to determine what support needs to be offered and we have seen significant developments in our approaches to supporting DA victims over many years. That said, we, know there is still more to do to try to keep victims safe and to encourage them to seek help. This cannot be done by one agency alone and we know we need to work together.

"There is always a high demand for support, and since Covid-19 some DA victims are needing support for longer lengths of time. There have also been well reported delays in the court processes for many victims.

"Some additional funding has been received from the West Yorkshire Mayor's office to support the work of Calderdale Staying Safe in addition to the locally funded contract.

"In Calderdale, the Domestic Abuse Strategic Board, chaired by the Director of Children’s Services, Julie Jenkins, has been working alongside SafeLives to review our collective responses to Domestic Abuse and to identify areas for development.

"The Calderdale Staying Safe number is 01422 323339 (9am to 5pm weekdays)."

In an emergency, always call ring the police on 999.

Other useful numbers if you are not in immediate danger include:

England: Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428 [email protected]

Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 [email protected]

Karma Nirvana, UK Helpline for ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage: 0800 5999 247

Victim Support National 24-hour Support line: 0808 1689 111

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Lindsay, of Calderdale District Police said: “As a victim focussed organisation, tackling and reducing domestic abuse and protecting vulnerable people continues to be a key priority for West Yorkshire Police.

“Throughout the past two years, we have continued to prioritise our response to domestic abuse, working hard with partner agencies to adapt to the demands that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented us, whilst supporting victims and keeping them safe.

“The increase in the number of reported incidents and those arrested can be attributed to victims and witnesses feeling increasingly confident in reporting incidents to the police and other agencies, alongside our continued commitment to safeguard those in our communities.

“West Yorkshire Police has been recognised as operating to the highest standards in crime recording, having previously received an ‘Outstanding’ grading by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Service, only one of two Forces to achieve that in England and Wales. As a Force we accurately record the crimes reported to us.

"In Calderdale, we have established links with other agencies where high risk cases are discussed daily. These cases are discussed with agencies including the local authority, Children social care, Health and commissioned services such as Calderdale Staying Safe to both prevent domestic abuse, support victims and pursue perpetrators.

“We have also invested heavily in specialist domestic abuse investigators in the last 12 months where resources have increased by 50 per cent. In addition, we have recently recruited Domestic Abuse specialist offender managers to actively manage perpetrators by either rehabilitation or pursuing a criminal justice outcome.

“This terrible crime often happens behind closed doors and we are absolutely committed to putting the needs and wishes of the victim at the heart of what we do.

"I would urge anyone who is subject to domestic abuse to make contact with us directly or alternatively through other partners or third sector agencies to ensure that they and those around them do not suffer in silence, and that they all receive the necessary support and advice to break the cycle of abuse.

“We would encourage anyone experiencing domestic abuse to report it to the police in an emergency via 999. Last year we launched our online domestic abuse reporting form, the information on the form will be dealt with in the same way as any other report of domestic abuse. If you can’t talk because the perpetrator is nearby, you can press the numbers ‘55’ into your mobile phone, which will alert the operator of your circumstances. Likewise, you can reach us though the non-emergency contact facilities both online and via 101.”