Nearly 100 alcohol-fuelled serious assaults, and more than 1,000 reports of domestic abuse were reported to Dyfed-Powys Police in December alone last year.
The force has released its latest figures as it prepares for an increase in domestic abuse and serious assaults in the lead-up to Christmas.
A social media campaign has been launched, highlighting the devastating impact of these crimes; speaking directly to those living in abusive households to empower them to speak out; and reminding anyone concerned about their behaviour after drinking where they can seek help.
Detective Superintendent Jayne Butler said: “While in past years we have focussed our winter campaign on one crime type, this year we have decided to amplify our messaging around serious assaults where alcohol is a factor, as well as domestic abuse, as sadly we see an increase in calls relating to both over the festive season.
“For most people, this time of year is filled with happiness – a time to celebrate with friends and family – and our officers enjoy seeing people out and about enjoying themselves. However, our officers are also likely to see those going through the darkest of times – as they deliver the news that a loved one has been badly assaulted on a night out, or they listen to the victim of domestic abuse explain how their life has been torn apart by someone they trusted.
“We hope that through this campaign we can increase confidence in reporting incidents of domestic abuse, and lessen the number of serious assaults by signposting to support agencies for those struggling with their behaviour when they’ve been drinking.”
Last December, 1,008 domestic abuse reports were recorded by Dyfed-Powys Police as the force ran a campaign encouraging people with concerns for themselves or others to speak out.
“We saw an increase in reports in 2022 compared with the previous two Decembers as we made a concerted effort to talk about domestic abuse in a way we haven’t before,” Det Supt Butler said.
“This also resulted in an increase in requests for information through Clare’s Law, which allows people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic abuse. We’ll be sharing these messages again this year to reach people who might need help.”
Between 2015 and 2022* Dyfed-Powys Police has recorded an average of 92 alcohol-related assaults causing actual bodily harm and assaults causing grievous bodily harm over the four-week peak Christmas and New Year season. While these figures dropped dramatically during the Covid-19 epidemic as a result of lockdown and social distancing restrictions, they are now increasing.
There were 79 reports of serious assaults where alcohol was involved during this time in 2022 – three more than in 2019, the last pre-Covid year.
Detective Superintendent Anthony Evans said: “While we’re not quite up to pre-2020 levels, we are seeing an increase in alcohol-related serious assaults which is a worrying trend, and one we hope to stop in its tracks. We expect to see more people out enjoying themselves in the evenings and over the weekend as we approach the festive season, which unfortunately does tend to result in more reported assaults.
“It’s undeniable that the number of violent incidents has a huge impact on police resources, but more importantly, each of these assaults affects the lives of victims and their families. It’s for this reason that we’re asking people to be aware of their behaviour, to seek help if they need to, and if they do find themselves faced with confrontation, to be the bigger person and walk away.”
For more information on how to report domestic abuse, or where to find help, click here: https://bit.ly/DAinformation