South Yorkshire Police launch new reporting system as domestic abuse soars

Domestic abuse soared during lockdown forcing the police to roll out a special online reporting platform.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 4:45 pm

A police and crime panel meeting heard there were 2,612 more domestic abuse reports in the year to June compared to the 12 months previous – and a corresponding rise in arrests.

It states: “Domestic abuse has been a particular focus during the lockdown period. DA is an area that was predicted to increase with offenders and victims in continuous close proximity but the concern from the outset was that victims may find it more difficult to report to the police.”In response, the police quickly put in place an online reporting platform which is not South Yorkshire Police branded and has a quick ‘close’ button that removes all evidence of the portal from the victim’s screen.

Some 268 online reports were made between April 20, when it was launched, and July. The most common complaints were arguments, harassment, stalking and malicious communications.Police also used radio advertising to publicise a ‘silent solution’ that allowed victims to dial 999 then press 55 so police can listen in without the victim needing to speak.

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Police are forecasting an overspend this year.

It was one factor that led the force to predict a £2.56 million overspend due to the increased costs of Covid-19.

Overall, the number of calls to 999 during lockdown decreased while 101 calls remained around the same.

During that period wait times also decreased to what Kevin Wright, of the office of the police and crime commissioner, called an “all time low”.Burglaries dropped too, but there were more reports of anti-social behaviour and police conducted 10,187 more stop and searches than the same time period the year before.

To read the report in full, click here