CUMBRIA Police have revealed a further increase in domestic violence incidents over the Christmas period.

In December 2013, 662 domestic violence incidents were reported to police, compared to 608 over the same period in 2012.

During the main festive fortnight (December 23-January 5), there was also an increase in the number of incidents resulting from alcohol – accounting for 221 out of 354.

The year on year increase in reports of domestic violence led Cumbria Police this year to launch a campaign before Christmas, aiming to encourage more victims to report the abuse.

Detective Superintendent Mike Forrester said: “Seeing an increase in the number of reports does not mean that it is not being tackled, it shows that people want to report it.

“It is a fact that domestic violence can be chronically under-reported so although an increase in violence of any kind is very worrying, the rise in the number of incidents we recorded may also be encouraging if it meant that more people had the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help.

“As part of our continued work within the Alcohol Harm Strategy, we are trying to tackle alcohol abuse and its role in domestic violence.

“Many people don’t know when they’ve had too much to drink; they lose control of their senses and don’t know when to stop.

“Domestic violence is a very serious issue. It is a crime that occurs all year round and can have chronic health implications – not only on the victim, but also on children or wider family members.

“No one deserves to be abused and we will not tolerate violence of any sort.”