A POLICE operation to tackle domestic abuse in Dorset over the Christmas period has been hailed a success.

Dorset Police said its operation was so successful across the Christmas and New Year period, that it will be repeated during the FIFA World Cup in the summer and again next Christmas.

A total of 105 high-risk victims of domestic violence were identified in Dorset as requiring home visits under Operation Maple – which ran throughout December 2013.

Officers reported a five per cent decrease in domestic abuse incidents across the period, compared to the previous year.

In total, 73 victims were visited and spoken to. A further 29 people were visited and were either not seen or did not reply. Three were not visited. No arrests were made.

Inspector Steve Thorpe said: “The majority of people we spoke to in person were supportive of what we were trying to achieve and were grateful for our visit.

“We also collected a good deal of information and received reports of further crimes.

“Dorset Police has seen a rise in the number of reported cases of domestic abuse in recent years and “I believe this is largely due to victims willing to report it to the police and take action against the perpetrator.”

Dorset Police had taken a number of steps to help support victims in reporting these crimes and had a dedicated team of specially trained and experienced officers to respond to and investigate domestic abuse and provide support and protection for victims and families, Inspector Thorpe said.

He said: “I would urge anyone suffering domestic abuse to come forward and report it so that action can be taken to keep them safe.

“I would also warn anyone committing an act of domestic abuse – you will be arrested and dealt with robustly.

“Domestic abuse offences can attract significant custodial sentences.”

Inspector Thorpe added: “In the future we intend to inform victims of domestic violence that they can expect a welfare visit from a police officer as part of Operation Maple.

“It is our intention that Operation Maple visits will be carried out during the FIFA World Cup in June and July and again over the Christmas and New Year period.”

For more help and support, visit dorsetforyou.com/dvahelp.

Contact telephone numbers:

Dorset Police (In an emergency always dial 999) 101

National Support for Victims:

National DV Helpline (24 hour) 0808 2000247

National Men’s Advice Line (for male victims) 0808 8010327

You First (Dorset County Outreach) 0800 0325204

West Dorset Women’s Refuge 01305 262444 .

Childline (for children) 0800 1111