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20 December 2010, 06:00
Extra police officers are on standby to deal with reports of domestic abuse in Cambridgeshire over Christmas.
Between December 18th and December 31st last year, there were 493 cases of absue at home reported to police in Cambridgeshire.
189 of these were in Peterborough, 119 were in Cambridge.
This year, the force has extra dedicated patrol cars ready to deal with any increase in cases.
Each car contains a "Head Cam", a camera officers can use to film a victim's statement at the point at which they make it.
Officers can then use that footage as evidence in court to aid a prosecution.
Detective Inspector Chris Balmer, the force's tactical lead on domestic abuse, said: "It has been observed over many years that reports of domestic abuse increase around Christmas time.
Some perpetrators of abuse may try to claim that money worries or excessive drinking cause them to lose control.
But this is no excuse and these people should know that the police take all incidents of domestic abuse very seriously.
Having dedicated patrol vehicles available and officers who are trained in handling this type of incident means we can ensure all opportunities are taken to gather evidence against offenders and protect victims.
It is also important that people report any suspicions they have that someone they know might be a victim of domestic violence.
Ideally we want victims to come forward and speak to us but we can also get convictions without their assistance as evidence can come from others.
We are asking friends who suspect that a friend is being abused, to help us help them."
Useful contact numbers:
Cambridgeshire Constabulary - 0345 456 456 4
Crimestoppers (anonymous) 0800 555111
National Domestic Violence Hotline - 0808 2000 247