Published: 13:41, 11 May 2020
| Updated: 15:02, 11 May 2020
Domestic violence incidents during lockdown in Kent have increased compared to last year, authorities have confirmed.
Between March 16 and April 26 Kent Police received 4,024 reports of incidents of abuse.
This is an increase of 34 compared to the same period as 2019. The biggest difference in data came from the week starting April 6, with a 9% increase.
Deputy chief constable Tony Blaker wants to reassure victims that despite social distancing and self-isolation rules, officers would still attend and investigate incidents.
He said: "During this Covid-19 pandemic, limited contact with the outside world may make you or someone you know feel unsafe but our specialist teams are here to help 24/7 in the same ways we always have done.
"In Kent we have seen a slight increase in reports of abuse during the lockdown and we’re keen that all victims, their family and their friends know that the support Kent Police offers is still available as it was before the public health measures."
"I would urge everyone to think a little closer to home and make sure they are a good neighbour..."
A dedicated domestic abuse campaign has been launched online and on social by police during the lockdown to raise awareness and encourage people to report incidents.
DCC Blaker added: "These unprecedented times have seen incredible acts of community spirit and I would urge everyone to think a little closer to home and make sure they are a good neighbour.
"Those living with domestic abuse can find it hard to reach out for help but if you think your neighbour or a friend may need police assistance do not hesitate to contact us.
"Despite the lockdown, it is very much business as usual for Kent Police, particularly when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in our communities."
People can report domestic abuse by calling 999 in an emergency via a live chat on the Kent Police website.
Alternatively you can call, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or the Respect Phoneline on 0808 802 4040.
More by this authorSean McPolin