World Cup and financial worries linked to rise in domestic abuse in Hartlepool

Care bosses claimed financial issues and this year's World Cup are part of the reason behind an increase in domestic abuse.

Thursday, 6th December 2018, 3:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th December 2018, 4:00 pm
England's Harry Kane (right) scores his side's first goal of the game during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at The Volgograd Arena, Volgograd. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Hartlepool Borough Council adult and community based services committee received the annual Teeswide Safeguarding for Adults report, offering information of care given in the area.

Staff behind the report said there are looking to continue improving after  ‘a lot of good practices’ in Hartlepool and said they are pleased to see people recognising issues.

Recorded domestic abuse data from Cleveland Police showed incidents increased from 5,438 in 2015/16 to 7,295 in 2017/18 across the force area.

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Coun Sue Little raised the issue if the World Cup had cause a rise in domestic abuse and said she had spoke to police officers who said ‘they would dread if England lost’.

Jill Harrison, director of adult and community based services,  said: “Sadly yes we see this with big sporting events, not just with football, but especially with football.

“If England lose we do see a rise in domestic abuse.”

Coun Carl Richardson said he was worried financial difficulties were also behind domestic abuse incidents.

He said: “We’re talking about reported crime of domestic abuse continuing to go up, I’m fearing that could be due to economic causes.

“With universal credit going to be rolling out we may well see an increase in domestic abuse further, and that may well be a factor.”

There has also been a 27% increase in safeguarding concerns reported between 2016 and 2018, which is when a sign of suspected abuse or neglect is reported to or identified by the local authority.

In the same time there has been a 18% increase in section 42 enquiries, which is when action is taken or instigated by the local authority in response to a reported concern that abuse may be taking place.

The report found most adult abuse occurs in care homes with 46%, compared to 35% occuring in people’s own homes.

The most common type of adult abuse was neglect, with 665 incidents occurring in the past year, compared to 570 incidents of physical abuse.

Teeswide Safeguarding adult board representatives said it was a positive to see progress was being made in identifying people committing offences.

Independent chair of the board Ann Baxter said: “Speaking to police colleagues they said domestic abuse is one of their biggest concerns in this area.

“I understand it’s going up and that is very worrying and we share worries about the availability of care.

“A positive is more people are knowing what to do and are recognising problems.

“I would like to highlight there are lots of really good practice in Hartlepool.

“There is an ongoing challenge on resources for many organisations running on empty which is a real concern for us.

“We’ll continue to try and focus on early help and prevention, if we can stop something it’s better than having to address it later.”

Going forward she said the group want to continue to improve and further help vulnerable people especially in the community as well as at home.

Committee chair Coun Stephen Thomas said: “The report shows progress that’s been made over the last few years and there are some very effective partnerships coming through.”

Nic Marko, Local Democracy Reporting Service