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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Priority for Tamworth following a rise in reported incidents

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: Priority for Tamworth following a rise in reported incidents

Image: LDRS

Tackling domestic abuse is among the priorities for Tamworth’s Community Safety Partnership this year following a rise in reported incidents during the coronavirus pandemic.

The borough saw the second largest increase in reported domestic abuse across the Staffordshire Police area in the 12 months leading up to November 2020, a report has revealed. The 6% rise was second only to Stafford Borough’s 9%, while the overall force area saw no percentage change compared to the previous year.

The report, presented to Tamworth Borough Council’s Infrastructure, Safety and Growth Committee on Thursday (March 25), added: “Nationally reported increases in domestic abuse due to the March lockdown and wider impact of Covid on society appear to have been seen in Tamworth.

“In both July and October 2020 the number of domestic-flagged crimes recorded in Tamworth exceeded the upper limit of what is considered normal for the partnership area.

“At risk groups (are) disproportionately younger women aged under 30 and those who live in already disadvantaged communities. However, anyone can become a victim of DA, and there are male victims in the area, and victims who are older adults.

“Households where there are high levels of economic stress and alcohol/drug use and dependency are at particularly high risk. Offenders are also disproportionately younger – aged under 40 – and male, although there
are also female offenders.”

The report also revealed that the Glascote ward saw the highest level of “domestic-flagged crimes” in the area, as well as a high proportion of neighbour dispute antisocial behaviour (ASB) incidents and criminal damage. The Castle ward, which includes the town centre, had above average rates of crime overall, including “high levels of theft and shoplifting, alcohol-related offending, ASB, and public-place violence”.

But the coronavirus pandemic, as well as national lockdown periods, has led to data in the latest Community Safety Strategic Assessment report being “highly irregular”.

The report added: “Restrictions imposed as part of the government approach to controlling the coronavirus pandemic have resulted in significant reductions in recorded crime and disorder from mid-March 2020 onwards. This is particularly the case with regards to crime, disorder and ASB taking place in public places.”

Although antisocial behaviour levels have reduced there has been a rise in demand on resources relating to noise complaints and neighbour disputes. There has also been a rise in domestic abuse referrals to support services.

Domestic abuse and antisocial behaviour are both classed as priorities for 2021 in the latest update of the Tamworth Community Safety Partnership Plan covering 2020-23. The plan sets out how organisations including the borough council, police, fire and health services will tackle community safety issues in the area.

Other priorities include stalking and harassment, car key burglary and vehicle theft, tackling extremism, serious violence and county lines, which involves the recruitment of vulnerable young people into the illegal drug trade.

Words: Kerry Ashdown, Local Democracy Reporter


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