OVER 350 more people have contacted police to report domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown than in the same period last year.

The latest figures supplied by Wiltshire Police show there were 3,084 reports between March 23 and June 8, compared to 2,717 in the same period in 2019 – a rise of 367 (14%).

During the same period, the police arrested 753 people for domestic violence offences, compared to 698 last year – a rise of 55, or eight per cent.

Detective Superintendent Ben Mant, head of Wiltshire Police’s public protection department, said: “The figures show an expected rise between 2019 and 2020.

"Although any rise in these types of reports is never good to see, this can also been seen as a positive as it shows that more and more people are reporting this crime.

“The increase in the number of arrests is often lower than the rise in reported domestic abuse incidents because a perpetrator can be arrested multiple times for the same crime against the same victim. However, this usually counts as one arrest.

“Our current domestic abuse campaign has yet again highlighted to the general public that this type of abuse is never acceptable and that help is available through us, the police and our partners.

“I believe that the heightened awareness has been brought thanks to our publicity campaign involving us and our partners.”

Wiltshire and Swindon police and crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson said: “Any publicity campaign in conjunction with our partners to highlight help support victims of domestic abuse is a good thing and I know we have had some positive responses to this.

“My office has been allocated an extra £244,000 by the Ministry of Justice to distribute to organisations who support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Wiltshire and Swindon.

“I will be able to announce the organisations which will receive additional funding from this pot in the next week.

“All these will welcome help towards combating the awful situation of domestic abuse.”