For the past four years, Waitemata Police have seen an increased number of family violence incidents in December and January. Money worries, the Christmas season and family pressures are thought to be behind the rise, and Waitemata Police have launched a specific operation that aims to reduce family violence this festive season.
Compared to other months of the year, provisional figures suggest that family violence offending increases in the Waitemata District by around 20% in December and January.
From now until the end of January, Operation Family will run across the Waitemata Police district, using a number of prevention activities to reduce and stop family violence.
A high proportion of family violence offending involves recidivist offenders and repeat victims, and the operation will focus on around 50 families who have been identified as being at high-risk of family violence.
Officers will make proactive cold-call visits to the homes of family violence victims, to check on their safety, offer advice and the opportunity to report any concerns. During the visit Police will also offer to arrange extra support and to connect families with any additional services they may require.
"The holiday period is very challenging for some families, and the sad reality is that whilst many of us are look forward to it, for others this time of year only brings a sense of dread. Family violence is not something that should be kept private - it's a crime. It's ok to ask for help and we hope that this operation may make it a bit easier for those people who are at-risk to ask for help" says Inspector Claire Humble, Waitemata Police.
The operation involves staff from various teams across the Waitemata Police district, including Family Violence, Youth and Community, Prevention, Maori Pacific & Ethnic Services (MPES) and Neighbourhood Police teams.
Police will also be making cold-call visits to those who have previously come to Police attention as being responsible for family violence.
On these visits the Police role will be to ensure that the person is getting the help they need, whether that be from extended family or friends, or from support services such as Man Alive or Living without Violence. People who have a protection order against them will also be reminded of the need to adhere to the conditions of that protection order.
"We know from experience that people who have separated or no longer live with their families can struggle to cope at this time of the year, and we want to ensure that person has every assistance to get through it without further offending. Breaching a protection order is a serious offence and we'll also be reminding people that we do not offer warnings" says Inspector Humble.
Police are also reminding anyone who feels their own or someone else's safety is at immediate threat to dial 111. Do not ignore family violence, your call could save a life.
For more help visit the following websites or call the below numbers;
- Ring Child, Youth and Family on 0508 FAMILY (0508 326 459) if you are concerned about a child or young person.
- Contact Women's Refuge on 0800 REFUGE (733 843)
Issued by Beth Bates/Waitemata Police