4,093 people arrested in London for domestic violence

Updated: Apr 27, 2020, 13:39 IST | IANS | London

Domestic incidents, which can include family rows not recorded as crimes, have seen a 3 per cent increase since last year, and jumped by 9 per cent between March 9 and April 19, said the Met Police

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

In the six weeks up to April 19, at least 4,093 people were arrested from across London for domestic abuse offences -- nearly 100 a day on an average -- during the coronavirus lockdown in the UK, the Metropolitan Police has revealed.

Charges and cautions have increased by 24 per cent since March 9, when people with COVID-19 symptoms were asked to self-isolate, compared to last year, Xinhua news agency quoted Commander Sue Williams, the Met's lead for safeguarding, as saying on Sunday.

Domestic incidents, which can include family rows not recorded as crimes, have seen a 3 per cent increase since last year, and jumped by 9 per cent 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. The UK has reported 154,037 coronavirus cases, with 20,794 deaths.

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