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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Campaign leads to rise in Cumbrian domestic violence reports

A domestic violence champion scheme launched across Cumbria last year has led to a rise in the number of women coming for help.

The Cumbria Domestic Violence Champions Network was launched in Penrith in March 2012 after previously covering the south of the county.

Councillor Olwyn Luckley highlighted the work of the scheme at a crime meeting in Carlisle, saying it had “gradually grown” since starting three years ago and they were seeing more victims “willing to come forward”.

The network was launched after figures showed that more than 6,500 cases of domestic violence were reported in Cumbria in 2011/12 – a 15 per cent rise on the year before.

Three networks were set up across Cumbria – in the north, south and west of the county – as part of the initiative.

The champions, who are trained to recognise the signs of domestic violence and advise victims about services available, meet regularly to swap ideas and get feedback.

Mrs Luckley discussed the network at a meeting outlining a crime plan for the Carlisle and Eden areas. The city council’s executive accepted the Carlisle and Eden Community Safety Partnership’s (CSP) draft plan for 2013/2014.

Key areas highlighted include:

  • Antisocial behaviour;
  • Violent crime;
  • Reducing harm caused by drugs;
  • Impact of alcohol misuse;
  • Domestic abuse and sexual violence;
  • Reducing re-offending.

According to the report, during 2012/2013 there were 1,100 fewer victims of crime and an overall four per cent reduction in crime.

The figures also showed that during the same period there was a 21 per cent drop in antisocial behaviour, a nine per cent fall in criminal damage and the number of deliberate fires was reduced by a quarter.

The plan has been recommended for approval and adoption by the full council next month.

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