POLICE patrols dedicated to cracking down on domestic abuse will be roaming the city this Christmas.
Officers from Sussex Police will be equipped with video cameras to help secure vital evidence.
With a regular increase in incidents throughout the festive season, officers are preparing for urgent calls for help.
“This is the fifth year running that we have operated extra force-wide patrols focusing on high risk victims of domestic abuse as we understand that the festive period can be a particularly difficult time for them,” said detective inspector Stuart Hale, from Sussex Police’s protecting vulnerable people branch.
“We have historically had peaks in the number of calls for help on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
“Victims can be assaulted or abused by their partners or other family members and many of the incidents the police have attended in the past have been extremely violent.
“The increase over this period is often down to higher alcohol consumption, combined with families spending more time than usual with each other.
“Relationships which are potentially abusive may come to a head at this time. Our response officers use body-worn cameras to increase the chance of gaining quality evidence and therefore do not just rely on the victim’s word against their abuser.
“There is a lot of support available for victims of domestic abuse and we are encouraging family, friends and neighbours to support victims by reporting this type of abuse to police.”
Patrols, which are part of Operation Cranberry, will take place until Wednesday, January 1.
Last year, police in Sussex were called to 982 incidents of reported domestic abuse from December 21, 2012, to January 2, 2013 – an increase from 643 the previous year.
Officers will also be kept up to date about victims, who may be particularly vulnerable and specific offenders.
Call the National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 2000 247 for information and advice on how to deal with domestic abuse.