THE number of domestic abuse incidents reported to the police in Lancashire has risen by around 20 percent since the start of lockdown.

According to police data, lockdown increased the risk for people who are experiencing domestic abuse to be trapped with their abuser for longer periods of time.

This increase has also impacted on the ways supporting agencies can safely reach out and offer help and advice.

During the initial stages of lockdown, domestic abuse charity Refuge, reported around 66 percent increase in demand to its helpline, and a 950 percent increase in visits to its National Domestic Abuse Helpline website compared to pre Covid-19.

Detective Chief Inspector Mike Gladwin of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit said: “During the period since March 23, we have experienced an increase in domestic abuse incidents by approximately 20 percent compared with the same period in the previous year.

"However, this increasing pattern is in line with what we have seen since pre-Covid towards the latter part of 2019 and therefore we must be cautious around attributing the increase to the pandemic alone.

"We are working through analysis of the reported incidents to understand the reasons behind that trend and what the actual impact of the pandemic has been, but clearly the data alone does not reflect the long-term impact of domestic abuse on people in Lancashire."

Last week, councils in Lancashire, the police, support agencies, the NHS and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner launched their new #noexcuseforabuse campaign.

The campaign aims to raise awareness and understanding of domestic abuse, the help and support available to victims and perpetrators and how and where people can report their concerns.

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