Islington domestic violence surge fuels overall crime rise

A hard hitting domestic violence campaign launched by Islington Council

A hard hitting domestic violence campaign launched by Islington Council - Credit: Archant

Soaring domestic violence is fuelling an overall rise in crime after new figures emerged showing in-the-home offences have increased nearly 25 per cent.

Fresh figures, released by the Met last week, show domestic-related crimes shot up from 1,356 to 1,670 – more than four a day – last year (2012/13), a rise of 23.2 per cent.

The data released for Islington also shows overall crime is up from 27,095 to 27,834 for the total number of recorded offences – bucking the wider London trend which has seen overall crime fall.

More than 45,000 fewer offences were recorded in across the capital for the year.

Domestic-related crimes was the second-fastest rising offence in Islington with only Islamophobic Crime rising more in terms of percentage increase. This nearly doubled from 15 to 28 incidents.

Abuse charities estimate domestic violence accounts for 49 per cent of all violent crimes against women in Islington, costing the borough in excess of £25million a year.

Mary Mason, chief executive of Holloway-based support charity Solace Women’s Aid, branded the figures “concerning” and said the rise is due to increased pressures on people during a recession.

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She said: “There are two issues. One is we know it escalates at a time when there is increased pressure.

“So increase of pressure in the recession and the stress on people in terms of unemployment and money and how that will increase violence in the home.

“We are concerned about the pressures people are under which has led to this increase in numbers of people feeling they need to report it.”

The charity has also seen a rise in numbers of women using its service, having registered 917 unique visitors last year – up from 794 the previous year – and helping more than 1,000 women. About 250 people were repeat visitors.

The figures come at a time of deep funding cuts for support groups, with Solace alone having lost about a third of its funding from Islington Council.

Ms Mason, who said the budget for their charity is around £300,000 a year, added: “The problem is the council have no statutory obligations to provide funds for support groups so it tends to cut in these areas.

“The support from the council remains outstanding though and they are having their funding cut.”

According to the charity’s figures, for every pound invested in support groups £8 is saved from the public purse.

The other crimes which rose for 2012/13 in Islington were Violence Against the Person, Other Sexual and Racist and Religious Hate Crime.