Police put blame on effects of recession

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The Independent Online
THE EFFECTS of the recession have contributed to the increase in domestic violence, two senior police officers will say in a television documentary to be broadcast tonight.

The comments, by Don Dovaston, an assistant chief constable of Derbyshire, and Andrew May, an assistant chief constable of South Wales, will fuel the current debate about the link between the Government's economic policies and the rise in crime.

The rise in domestic violence had previously been largely attributed to increased reporting of attacks.

Speaking on Central Television's Domestic Violence, to be broadcast only in the Midlands area tonight, Mr May says that although the police service has dramatically improved its performance in dealing with domestic violence, some financially troubled forces are having difficulty in funding dedicated units to cope with the rise in the crime.

He says: 'With the problems in the country and unemployment being as high as it is and the associated financial problems, the pressures within family life are far greater. That must exacerbate the problems and, sadly, the police service is now picking up the pieces of that increase.'

Don Dovaston, a member of the Association of Chief Police Officers' crime committee, also says in the programme that the 'current state of society, where we have many people suffering from economic troubles,' could provide the 'trigger point' for violent situations in the home.

According to research by the Middlesex University Centre for Criminology, one in ten women have been subjected to violence from their partner over the past year. A survey showed that 28 per cent of women had suffered physical assault. A report by the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee later this month is expected to recommend a national strategy for dealing with domestic violence.