Police reveal Christmas Day call-outs total as charity warns of domestic violence increase
Police were called out to nearly 350 incidents in Northamptonshire on Christmas Day last year with dozens relating to domestic violence, according to new figures obtained by the Chronicle & Echo.
Call-outs included scores of abusive messages and threats made to partners and exes, while neighbours reported screaming through the walls at a number of households.
One abusive husband stormed into a house wielding a bat, while one woman pulled a knife on her partner and another was glassed, the Freedom of Information report shows.
Chief executive of national domestic violence charity, Refuge, Sandra Horley CBE, said the figures carried a serious message.
“Christmas is meant to be a time of joy, a time of generosity, a time of caring. But for too many women and children, the 25th December will be yet another day of living with fear, intimidation and violence,” she said.
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“Some police forces see increases in reports of domestic violence incidents at Christmas. This may be because many police forces run high profile awareness campaigns around Christmas time,” added Sandra.
“It can be very difficult for a woman experiencing domestic violence to access support during the festive period – a period when her abusive partner may be spending more time at home and monitoring her behavior more closely than ever.
“Domestic violence is an abuse of power – it is the repeated, habitual use of violence and intimidation to control another person. We cannot blame domestic violence on Christmas, alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress, money worries or ill health. These are just excuses for an abuser’s behaviour,” she added.
Other call-outs answered by police on Christmas Day last year included a son threatening to torch his family’s house, overdoses, cyber bullying, fights and alcohol-related crimes...and one call from a homeowner complaining that someone had defecated in their cupboard.
“People seem to think that because it’s Christmas, the world just stops and that includes crime,” a police spokesman said.
“But as you can see, it’s just like any other day in terms of what we have to deal with. In many ways it is worse because you have that cocktail of drink and family which is often the fuel behind so much crime.”
And Northamptonshire can boast some of the weirdest.
Police were called to move several cows off the road - as well as a lizard that had escaped.
Officers were needed to wake one man from his slumber after he had opted to try and sleep off the merriment - in a bin.
One man was stabbed with a pen, a baby was locked in a car, and dogs were pinched as officers investigated 349 different incidents.
These also included reports at one address that someone had ruined their Christmas by defecating in their cupboard.
And officers were even called out after someone possibly hoping to spot Santa looked up to the sky - only to see what they thought was a UFO.