Domestic violence up by 21 per cent in Welwyn Hatfield

REPORTED cases of domestic violence in Welwyn Hatfield have risen by nearly a quarter over the last year, according to new figures.

During 2008/09, Hertfordshire Constabulary recorded a total of 420 offences, including threats of violence, assault and criminal damage.

However, in the current policing year, which ends today (Wednesday), 508 cases have been reported. The rise equates to an increase of 21 per cent.

Officers believe this illustrates victims are now more willing to come forward.

Welwyn Hatfield chief inspector Dave Newsome told the WHT: “It is encouraging news that domestic violence reporting levels have risen this year as it means more people are finding the confidence to come forward and seek help.

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“Traditionally, domestic violence does tend to be under-reported, with victims in violent relationships being anxious about coming forward.

“Significant local investment by the constabulary, as well as other key partners within the Welwyn Hatfield Community Safety Partnership – including the police, local council, justice and health services – has delivered wide-ranging measures to help victims and their families to escape from violent relationships.”

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He added: “Offenders arrested for domestic abuse are robustly investigated and victims can be confident that the constabulary will support them.”

Bosses at the Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuge also praised victims for coming forward.

Dee, the refuge manager, said: “I think an increase in reporting is a good thing because there is obviously growing confidence in the police and their ability to deal with domestic violence.

“Anything that works towards making violence stop is a good thing.”

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