Tackling domestic abuse in Cumbria

Tackling domestic abuse in Cumbria

This special edition newsletter looks at some of the work we have been promoting in recent weeks on domestic abuse.

On average our police force deals with 17 incidents of domestic abuse each day across Cumbria. In many cases, victims have been subjected to some form of domestic abuse previously. Domestic abuse often can be hidden within society, however we are committed to identifying those at risk so we can help them escape abuse and bring offenders to justice.

Throughout December, we have ran an awareness campaign that highlighted the action we take to tackle domestic abuse, support victims and how you can help by reporting information or concerns you may hold.  

We hope that you find the following articles informative and hope it can provide you with the confidence, should you need it, to report information to us so we can help bring an end to the abuse you or someone you know are suffering. 

Domestic Abuse campaign banner

Nobody should have to tolerate domestic abuse

They are among the most despicable crimes Cumbria’s police officers deal with all-year-round.

Nobody should have to suffer domestic abuse and officers work hard around-the-clock to safeguard those at risk of abuse and to make sure those who attack them, exploit them and cause their lives to be filled with fear face the consequences.

Our officers’ number one priority is ensuring people’s safety.

Working with partners in other agencies and the criminal justice system, police take reports seriously and aim to put people before the courts where they can.

It is a key priority all year. But due to it being a traditionally busy time of the year for this type of offence in the run-up to Christmas, we carried out a domestic abuse campaign in December.

This aimed to highlight the support services available, encourage people to report abuse and access those services - and the work underway throughout the year.

Statistics show that in the last year the force has been behind:

  • More than 600 prosecutions of domestic violence offences.
  • The issuing of nearly 70 domestic violence protection orders.
  • The securing of 265 restraining orders.

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Support is available for everyone

While prosecuting criminals is a key part of policing, officers also want to make sure those who suffer at the hands of abusers or live in fear of what might happen to them get the support and help they need.

Detective Chief Inspector James Yallop is a senior officer within the public protection side of policing in Cumbria.

He said: “Nobody should ever have to suffer domestic abuse and if you’re scared at home, there is help out there.

“Tackling these awful crimes and safeguarding vulnerable people is a key priority for us.

“We take reports seriously and we treat all cases with sensitivity.

“If you are suffering, please get in touch. We are here to help and support you. Even if right now you only have questions, I would urge you to contact us.”

DA Victim Support

What support can you get?

DCI Yallop said: “Getting the right support can empower someone to take their next positive step forward.

“There is a whole wealth of support services available in Cumbria; everything from counselling to rehoming, in addition to many other services available nationally. 

“This could be financial advice, support around substance or alcohol misuse or emotional health and wellbeing.

“As the police, we can help you access these support services. We can also support you though any court process.

“Support is also available for anyone who recognises their behaviour towards a partner or family member is inappropriate. 

“It is important to understand why this may be happening so people can get the help they need.” 

There are specialist programmes available through Victim Support in Cumbria that work with victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse to help put an end to the offending.

DA Crimestoppers

The view from our Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “We have to do much more than just talk about domestic abuse; we all recognise that it is an awful and serious crime which often has wider effects on family members including children

“That’s why we have to turn talk into action, and it’s why the Constabulary take this issue so seriously and will continue to do so.

"No one should have to worry about their partner harming, hospitalising or, worst case scenario, killing them.

“I sincerely urge anyone who is facing or has faced domestic abuse to please contact the police, they are there to help and every report will be taken seriously.

“I understand that going to the police is a really difficult step for some people and not everyone wishes to contact the police, which is why I commission support services across the county. 

“These services are there for you and have fully trained personnel who can offer practical help.

“If you’re looking for information and advice, Victim Support can signpost you to your closest service to help you as best as possible.

“Call Victim Support on 0300 303 0157 Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm or the 24/7 Supportline on 0808 1689 111.

“If you cannot speak, visit the website www.victimsupport.org.uk and use the Livechat.

“Please do not suffer in silence – you are never alone.”

DA - Support available

What are the signs of domestic abuse?


Signs someone could be suffering from domestic abuse include:

  • Injuries
  • Substance abuse
  • Personality changes
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stopping socialising
  • Stress
  • Absence from work     

DA Prosecutions

Stopping repeat cases of domestic abuse

An operation that aims to stop repeat cases of domestic abuse was re-launched by Cumbria Police during the campaign to help those suffering again and again from these incidents.

Operation County targets repeat offenders while also offering additional support to victims and their families.

People who have been identified as repeat victims will be visited by police and made aware of the support available and how officers can help them access it.

They are also provided with a consistent, single point of contact where they can report crimes and concerns. 

Officers also visit the people who are responsible for the abuse in order to encourage them to address their offending behaviour. 

DCI Yallop said: “The Constabulary continues to take a variety of approaches to ensure we do everything we can to prevent further incidents of abuse and safeguard those who have suffered."

Addressing offender behaviour is a key part of stopping this abuse.

DCI Yallop said: "We cannot simply arrest our way out of the problem and we will continue to work with our partners in order to address the causes of offending behaviour."

Turning the Spotlight

Peter McCall added: “I also fund a programme called Turning the Spotlight, provided by Victim Support, that aims to help couples and families to reduce abusive traits in relationships.

“Through one-on-one support, Turning the Spotlight helps people understand what a healthy relationship is, how to maintain a healthy relationship and helps families address and reflect on their issues and develop relationship-changing skills.

“Please don’t suffer in silence – there are people that want to help and you are never alone.”

To find out more about Turning the Spotlight, watch this video here: Turning the Spotlight

DA patrol

DA Restraining orders

Not all abuse is physical - What is domestic abuse?

There are five categories of domestic abuse:

Physical abuse.

Controlling behaviour - where someone controls areas of the victim’s life. This can include controlling who the victim meets or speaks to, what they access on social media, what they wear and monitoring a person’s movements.

Coercive behaviour - where the victim is forced to do things against their will, or they are constantly shouted at, ridiculed, deliberately frightened, threatened or made to feel like they have to walk on eggshells.

*  Financial abuse - where the perpetrator controls the victim’s finances or restricts what money they can access for themselves or others. This is also a form of controlling behaviour.

Psychological abuse - where a perpetrator destroys the confidence, outlook or mindset of the victim.

Posters like this below can point to help out there in the community.

DA Ask for Ani

Help for those suffering sexual abuse at home

Officers are also urging people who suffer sexual abuse at home to reach out for help.  

Domestic abuse takes many forms – and included in this can be sexual abuse.

There are a number of support services out there for people who are suffering in this way.

Neither marriage nor a relationship or partnership ever provides automatic consent.

DCI Yallop added: “Rape and serious sexual offences are life changing.

“Consent needs to be given knowingly, fully and freely, every time."

DA - Bridgeway

Please contact us if you have suffered domestic abuse

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this online at www.cumbria.police.uk/reportit - or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

You can access support services regardless of whether you have reported a crime to the police.

To access support services independently, contact Victim Support 24/7 on 0300 3030 157 - or visit the Cumbria Together website www.cumbriatogether.com.

In other news

Police urge families to be aware of romance fraud

Family members of online daters are being urged to help protect their relatives from becoming a victim of romance fraud, as new national figures show almost £92 million has been lost through dating scams this year alone.

Criminals often use a range of stories to get victims to transfer them money without it raising suspicion. The stories are often believable, to a certain extent, and something that the victim would find hard to say no to, especially because of their emotional attachment.

Read the full release here

Romance Fraud

Have your say on maintaining the police service in Cumbria

The Police & Crime Commissioner launched his annual public consultation yesterday, asking for views on his proposed increase in council tax.

The increase would be 65p per month, per household for a band B property. For a Band D property, this equates to £9.99 a year or 83p a month.

This request is one that is not made easily, however is one that is crucial in maintaining the police service we currently provide.

Please click here to access the survey and vote to have your say.

For more information please click here.


Demand graphic

Blue Lights

If you need to contact the police for a non-emergency issue, why not use our quick and easy Live Chat function.

Your enquiry will be answered by police officers in the Constabulary’s command and control room. To access this function or for more information please click here

You can also report information relation to a non-emergency issue via our online reporting form by clicking here.  

In an emergency, always call 999.


If you have any information which may assist us in any way, please let us know.

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