Stevenage tops domestic violence list

AN emergency meeting was held this week to tackle domestic violence after it was revealed Stevenage has the highest rate in Hertfordshire.

The town of around 80,000 people topped a police records list for the year up to April with 1,369 incidents – almost 12 per cent of the total for the whole of the county. Neighbouring North Herts, with a population of 124,000, came second highest with 1,176 cases.

The district-based figures reflect emergency call outs to domestic situations where officers record violence against a person or a home.

In reaction to the news, the SoStevenage partnership, made up of bodies including the Stevenage Borough Council, Herts police, and community organisations met on Monday to try to find solutions to the problem.

SoStevenage chairman and borough council leader, Sharon Taylor, said support networks are key to reducing the levels.

“Violence and abuse in the home is very disturbing. It’s important that local partners in and around Stevenage are working together to reduce it as much as possible and make sure the right support networks are in place,” she said.

“We’ll be putting together an action plan to look at what we can do to tackle this very serious issue. We hope that by raising awareness of the support available, both victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse will be more likely to seek help.”

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Hotspots in the town where the problem is particularly prevalent are being analysed by police.

The partnership will meet again in the late autumn to focus on possible long-term solutions to the issue.