Northamptonshire Police is launching a month-long domestic abuse Christmas campaign today (Friday, December 18). This is to coincide with an anticipated increase in incidents over the festive period.
Scheduled to run until mid-January, the aim of the campaign is to encourage the reporting of incidents and signpost victims to help and support, while sending out a strong message to offenders - your Christmas gift from us is likely to be a knock on the door from a uniformed officer with a warrant for your arrest.
Officers are currently working through a ‘most wanted’ list of those responsible for high-harm domestic abuse, stalking and harassment.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley has set them the challenge to ensure all these offenders are behind bars before Christmas. He said: “The first of our most wanted domestic abuse offender was arrested yesterday and there will be more to come over the next few days.
“Tackling domestic abuse is a force priority and I have set my officers the task to focus their efforts on protecting people from this terrible crime, which has a devastating impact on victims.
“Our role is about prevention, protection and prosecution - to prevent further violence, to protect the victim, children and other vulnerable people involved and to facilitate the prosecution of offenders.”
Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, said: “Domestic abuse has no place in our society – at Christmas or any other time of the year. To help tackle it, I have introduced the Perpetrator and Safe Relationships programmes to get to the root of entrenched offending and break the cycle of abuse, and provided extra funding to support victims.
“These initiatives have to work side by side with enforcement and I fully support this campaign to see dangerous offenders placed in custody, ensuring families have a safe and peaceful Christmas and beyond. Nobody should have to live in fear.”
Detective Superintendent Rich Tompkins, Head of Public Protection, said: “Domestic abuse can be physical or psychological and affects women, men and children, from all walks of life.
“It doesn’t only happen at Christmas - it happens all year round and during these unprecedented times when people have to live their lives as never before, it is important that anyone suffering from domestic abuse knows the police are still here working around the clock to keep people safe.
“Unfortunately, however, we know over the Christmas period incidents of domestic abuse rise. Sadly, many incidents still go un-reported, but we hope this campaign will go some way towards changing that and will encourage anyone impacted by domestic abuse to report it to us.
“We work closely with statutory and voluntary agencies to ensure anyone who suffers domestic abuse gets the help they need, to highlight the issue of domestic abuse and to explore ways in which we can protect our community.”
“I want to encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to call their local police on the non-emergency 101 or, in an emergency, always call 999.”
To access a perpetrator programme, contact Respect – the national association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services.
If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS serviceExternal Link.
In non-emergency cases and for general advice, please call 101. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service on 18001 101.
You can also call the national 24-hour domestic abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247.