Domestic abuse task force responds to 20 calls in first fortnight
A POLICE team set up to tackle a rise in domestic abuse at Christmas has attended almost 20 calls in its first two weeks.
Operation Nightwing has been set up by police in Hull to ensure victims are seen quickly.
Between 13 and 15 extra officers are on duty on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to deal solely with domestic abuse calls.
During the first two weekends of the operation, the team has attended almost 20 reports.
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Detective Sergeant Stuart Fox, leading the operation, said: "The team attending those calls means other officers have been freed up to have chance to respond to other calls.
"They have been supporting victims, gathering evidence and making sure people are dealt with, whether that is the offenders themselves or making sure the victims are signposted to the right agencies."
Det Sgt Fox said the team was expecting to get busier as Christmas approaches.
"When alcohol starts to play more of a part, Christmas parties start happening and people start getting more stressed about their shopping, we expect to get busier.
"These worries and increased stress may start to work their way into their relationships.
"We are hoping to be able to help a lot of people during the operation."
Extra support workers from the Hull domestic abuse partnership will also be working during the operation to ensure victims are offered help as quickly as possible.
The operation will run for five more weeks, covering Christmas and the new year period.
Officers working on the operation last year attended almost 50 calls – a 13 per cent rise on what police would expect at other times of the year.
Abusers involved will also be encouraged to refer themselves to programmes such as Strength to Change, which works with men abusing their partners.
Det Sgt Fox said: "We want victims to speak up and have trust in us to deal with it effectively.
"We are here to enforce the law but there are lots of support agencies out there to help.
"We also want perpetrators who recognise these issues in their relationship to seek help before we become involved.
"Once we are involved, we will be dealing with cases robustly and will be looking to take cases to court."