Domestic violence in the Ballymena area has shown an increase during the past year - but even the statistics available to police may be unreliable.
Ballymena Policing and Community Safety Partnership was told that such crimes are ‘vastly under reported right across the UK’ when they were addressed by PSNI area commander Catherine Magee.
She told the meeting that there had been 125 domestic violence with injury crimes reported in the locality in the past year - an increase of seven crimes from the previous period. Of these crimes, 31% have been recorded as cleared.
“Some victims of domestic abuse do not follow through to court for a variety of reasons, some victims just want the abuse to stop and do not want to take the offender to court.
“Others are feareful of the court system whether this be due to financial reasons, or fear of giving evidence,” said the area commander.
She added: “In H district we work closely with support services such as Women’s Aid and Victim Support NI to give victims confidence and access to justice.”
Chief Inspector Magee said police had received funding from the Housing Executive, the Northern Health and Social care Trust and Ballymena PCSP to employ a criminal justice support worker to assist with those victims fearful or anxious about the court process.