Hello everyone, welcome back to my column and Happy New Year!
I wonder if many of you have adopted any New Year resolutions as we enter 2017? I’ve certainly noticed numerous determined walkers and runners out pounding the pavements as the post-Christmas fitness regime kicks in.
Our Op Roadsafe theme for January 2017 also happens to be pedestrian visibility, so please remember road users need to look out for children, pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear bright clothing, reflective jackets or armbands where possible to ensure they can be seen.
Whilst Christmas and New Year will have been a time of celebration and joy for many, unfortunately some houses have been facing very different circumstances. PSNI officers respond to an incident of Domestic Abuse every 18 minutes and as a Service we see a rise in reports of Domestic Abuse over the Christmas period. Having spoken to officers across the District, I know that those on duty here in the city over the holiday period have been out dealing with incidents of Domestic Abuse. We know that domestic abuse is a frightening crime which can affect anyone often leaving them feeling isolated and alone.
Our definition of Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on one person by another, where they are intimate partners or family members, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation. Ultimately, ‘if you feel like you’re walking on eggshells that’s domestic abuse’.
A 24-hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline is available to anyone who has concerns about domestic or sexual violence, now or in the past on 0808 802 1414. There is some really useful advice on our website including information about organisations such as Women’s Aid or the Men’s Advisory Project who can also provide help and support. You can access details along with much more information at www.psni.police.uk/crime/domestic-abuse. I would strongly encourage anyone suffering from domestic abuse to contact PSNI and in an emergency to dial 999.
Please keep vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us, which you can do in a variety of ways. In a non-emergency please dial 101. You can report non-emergency crimes/incidents via the PSNI website: www.psni.police.uk. In an emergency dial 999. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter @PSNI Foyle.