South Yorkshire Police concerned about domestic abuse during lockdown

South Yorkshire’s Chief Constable has expressed concerns about domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown period.

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Chf Con Stephen Watson said the issue is an area of ‘continued and heightened focus’ for officers, with the force expecting an increase in offending.

He said: “Sadly, we anticipate an increase in this type of offending and we are determined to do all that we can to support those at risk.

South Yorkshire Police is concerned about domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown.

“We have adapted our processes to ensure we continue to secure Domestic Violence Protection Orders to remove abusers from the home setting, even during the isolation period.

“We are also proactively contacting known perpetrators to warn them of the consequences of any repeat offending.

“Because we know people may struggle to report abuse when the abuser is closely present, we are calling upon neighbours and family members to make us aware of anyone they feel may need our help and support. It is more important than ever that we collectively look out for those with no voice in these exceptional times.”

Commenting on the way his force is policing the county during the pandemic, he said: “I am enormously proud of the men and women of South Yorkshire Police, they are going about their business on your behalf with real determination, commitment and cheerfulness.

“Nothing in this crisis will prevent your force from keeping the criminal on the back foot and doing all that we can to keep you and your families safe.

“I have little doubt that the restrictions upon us all will feel increasingly onerous as time goes by.

“People are understandably looking forward to being able to resume their normal life and family pattern and to get beyond what remains an unprecedented situation.

“Now however is not the time to draw back from individual and collective compliance with the current restrictions. To do so will put at risk all that has been achieved and will cost lives.

“We are all in this together and so I urge everyone to stick with it so that we can win together.”