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Police Highlight Signs of Domestic Abuse during seasonal ‘Spike’

PEOPLE enjoying what Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys have to offer during the busy visitor season are being asked to watch out for signs of domestic abuse and to report it to police.

Throughout September, officers are continuing visits to campsites, tourist attractions and popular nightspots, to talk to people about domestic abuse.

They will provide guidance on the signs of domestic abuse and encourage people to call the police if they see or hear something that concerns them.

This work began in August and is being carried out by police as part of Operation Heirloom, as reports of domestic abuse are higher during those two months than any other time of the year.

Superintendent Anthony Griffiths, Head of the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Domestic abuse is not only violence. It can be physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse. Making threats and causing damage to property are all ways of controlling someone.

“Unfortunately, we see an increase in the number of reports of domestic abuse at this time of year. We’ve been busy throughout the school summer holidays and are continuing those efforts throughout September while visitor numbers are still high. Hotspots include campsites, beaches, tourist attractions and bars. People may be visiting the area, or have gone for a day or evening out and for whatever reason, very often alcohol, things get out of control and someone becomes abusive.

“I urge anyone concerned about someone, whether family member, friend, neighbour or someone you’ve seen on holiday or a day out that needs help, to report it to police.

“They should not feel worried that they will be interfering if they get involved or think that it’s a private matter. Their report to police could make a real difference.”

The operation will run until the end of September and will focus on: keeping communities safe by targeting perpetrators of domestic abuse at every opportunity; safeguarding vulnerable victims through support from specially trained officers and disclosures through Clare’s Law to give people the information that could protect them from domestic abuse; protect those affected from serious harm, by seeking prosecutions and work to increase confidence to report in communities.

Signs to look out for:

· One partner seems afraid of the other, or very anxious to please him or her

· One partner often criticises or humiliates the other in front of other people

· You can see physical injuries (bruises, broken bones, sprains, cuts etc) and may have been given unlikely explanation for their injuries

· One partner is reluctant to leave children with the other partner.

For support and advice:

· Call the abuse and violence helpline Live Fear Free helpline on 0808 8010 800

· Download the free Brightsky app – it’s full of information and has a secret setting to help protect your privacy

· Visit dyfed-powys.police.uk/ClaresLaw to learn about a scheme where you can find out if your current or potential partner has a history of abuse or violence.

· Visit ncdv.org.uk for free legal help, quickly

To report domestic abuse call police on 101. If you’re reporting to police as abuse is happening call 999.

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