Cumbria police wants to encourage men who are victims of domestic abuse to come forward, as the force secures the highest rate of such convictions in the country.

Detective Chief Inspector Dan St Quintin is Cumbria police’s lead for domestic abuse.

The force records 91 per cent of domestic abuse convictions, with 86 per cent of those accused pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

DCI St Quintin said: “What has changed in recent years is that we’ve done a lot of work in recognising male victims, as well as female victims.

“We take longer now to investigate domestic abuse, we’ve introduced minimum standards of investigation, meaning we ensure that we’re doing the right thing consistently. We have trained up specialist sergeants to make decisions on domestic abuse and we find they’re able to identify what needs doing with a case.”

In the last four years, the force has recorded 29,462 incidents of domestic abuse, while the percentage of those incidents that turned into the crime log has doubled over time, only 43 per cent of those incidents has turned into a crime being investigated.

But DCI St Quintin explained the discrepancy is not a failure of the system, on the contrary, it is a valuable resource for investigation. “Some incidents that are reported aren’t a crime, it could be a couple shouting at each other and a neighbour or the affected person has called us.

"We still record that as a domestic abuse incident, because what we’re finding is that most cases of domestic abuse involve an element of control rather than violence. That means we can identify patterns of behaviour and we deal with that incredibly seriously.”

DCI St Quintin said the majority of domestic abuse cases involving men happened between intimate or ex-intimate partners. But it is victims aged 20 to 34 that make up the majority of men reporting domestic abuse.

“From speaking to victims, that age group is the one less willing to stand up for domestic abuse because they were born after legislation came in. Those aged 60 and over have perhaps accepted their situation and feel they can’t get out of it. But we would encourage anyone to come forward, we will treat it seriously.”

Figures released through a Freedom of Information request by the News & Star revealed that the vast majority of domestic abuse crimes committed against men involved victims being physically assaulted.

Last year, 391 incidents of common assault and battery were identified as a domestic abuse crime against a man.

There were also 374 cases of assault occasioning actual bodily harm against male domestic abuse victims.

A much lower figure of 83 reports were made for harassment in 2018/19 in terms of domestic abuse crimes against men.

Other incidents involved criminal damage and sending communication with intent to cause distress.

Although the number of male victims coming forward to report these crimes to police has more than doubled in the last four years, the types of crimes reported have remained much the same.

Help is on hand for men who are victim of domestic abuse

Help is on hand for men who are victim of domestic abuse

The ManKind initiative is just one of the many organisations helping male victims of domestic abuse.

Commenting on the figures analysed by the News & Star, chairman Mark Brooks said: “These figures are both shocking yet welcome. They show the level of domestic abuse against men and the growing confidence they have in coming forward. Friends, family and work colleagues are also playing a key part in supporting them and we are really pleased with Cumbria police force in the way they are actively encouraging men to report.

“These figures should act as a spur for even more men to reach out as many feel they are the only man in the world this has ever happened to and they suffer in silence behind their front door. They now know they are not alone – they can escape and rebuild their lives.”

Cumbria police also now offers multi-agency web surgeries for domestic abuse victims twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays on the force’s Facebook page.

People can ask questions and raise concerns and a private messaging function is also available.

The force works in partnership with Victim Support on its cases to ensure victims have the help they need.

For a list of support and advice available visit

The Man Kind initiative can be contacted on 01823 334244 from 10am to 4pm on weekdays or you can visit the website

In an emergency, call 999.