Poster campaign launched to tackle under reporting of domestic violence
A major poster campaign has been launched urging victims of domestic violence and people suspicious that a crime is being committed to report it.
The striking posters which state ‘One in four violent crimes in Barnet happen behind closed doors’ were put on display across the borough last week.
The posters encourage victims of domestic abuse, or anyone who knows of someone suffering, to contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
The launch of the joint campaign between Barnet Council and police came in the same week as White Ribbon Day (Thurs Nov 25) which forms part of an international campaign aimed at ending violence against women.
In 2009/10 1,415 domestic violence offences were reported to police in Barnet – down 10.2 per cent on the number brought to the attention of officers during the previous 12 months. This represented a five-year low in reporting.
Figures from the British Crime Survey 2008/09 estimated that one in 16 women, or six per cent, will be domestic violence victims at some point in their lives.
Cllr Joanna Tambourides, cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said: “Domestic violence is often associated with alcohol, and we know the number of cases can peak around Christmas and New Year.
“Sadly these crimes often go unreported. The fall in numbers of offences being reported to police doesn’t give a true reflection of the scale of the problem. I urge anyone who is a victim of domestic violence, or is concerned that their friend, relative or neighbour is a victim, to report it before it is too late so we can offer them support and advice.
“We are working closely with the police and other partners to provide support. For example the council provides help through our sanctuary project coupled with a range of advice and advocacy services.”
Chief Superintendent Neil Basu, head of Barnet Borough police, said: “Barnet borough is committed to supporting the victims of domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Support Service, an independent charity that aids the high-risk victims of domestic crime, now has an office within our police station from which they carry out their excellent work.
“We have a dedicated police team to ensure the prosecution of domestic violence offenders is both thorough and robust. I can assure our residents that Barnet borough police will use all its expertise, strength and determination to help the victims of this appalling crime and bring the offenders to justice.”