In the six weeks up to April 19, officers across London had made 4,093 arrests for domestic abuse offences — nearly 100 a day on average — and domestic abuse calls have risen by around a third in the last six weeks, the Metropolitan Police (the Met) has revealed.
Charges and cautions have increased by 24 percent since March 9, when people with COVID-19 symptoms were asked to self-isolate, compared to last year, said Commander Sue Williams, the Met’s lead for safeguarding.
Domestic incidents, which can include family rows not recorded as crimes, have seen a 3 percent increase since last year, and jumped by 9 percent between March 9 and April 19, said the Met Police.
There have been two domestic-related murders recorded in London as police continue to warn of an increased risk of abuse during the strict measures in place, said the Scotland Yard, metonym for the headquarters of the Met Police.
“The COVID-19 restrictions and ‘stay at home’ instruction is vital to managing this public health crisis, but unfortunately it has also left current and potential victims of domestic abuse even more vulnerable and isolated,” said Williams.
The Met Police gave examples of some of the cases it has dealt with in recent weeks, including one in which police discovered that a man reported by a victim was linked to firearms.
“Officers located him within three hours of receiving the report and searched his vehicle, finding two sawn-off shotguns. A cannabis factory was also discovered. The man was subsequently charged and is awaiting trial,” said the Scotland Yard in a statement.
Officers were also called to help a pregnant victim in east London, who had gone to a hospital to seek refuge after her partner assaulted and tormented her.
Police said he was quickly arrested, but she was unwilling to support criminal action.
However, due to the evidence captured on body worn video, and witness accounts from staff at the hospital, the Crown Prosecution Service supported a victimless prosecution, and the suspect is awaiting trial, said the Met Police.
“Victims should be assured that they can leave their homes to escape harm or seek help, and they will not be penalized in any way for not maintaining social distancing, or otherwise breaching COVID-19 restrictions,” said Williams. Enditem