Domestic violence at highest level ever recorded in NI

PSNI contacted about more than 31,000 incidents last year, about 80 cases per day

More than 31,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported in Northern Ireland last year, the highest number since recording of the crime began.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said it received 31,298 reports of incidents of domestic violence - roughly 80 per day - with women targeted in 70 per cent of cases and men in 30 per cent. The recording of domestic violence data dates back to 2004/05.

Figures from the Department of Justice show that from the 31,298 reports, it was found that 16,000 crimes were committed.

A total of 326 applications were the Domestic Violence and Abuse Disclosure Scheme in Northern Ireland last year, which was it’s first year in operation.


The scheme, run by the PSNI in conjunction with voluntary partners, allows potential victims to receive information on their partner’s history of abusive behaviour and any potential risk they pose, enabling them to make an informed choice about their relationship. Forty people, identified as being at risk, have been advised about their partner’s abusive past under an aspect of the scheme.


The Power to Tell provision allows police to act on information that may come to their attention by other means.

Anthony Harbinson, director of the department’s safer communities directorate, said welcomed the take-up of the disclosure scheme and priased the courage of those coming forward to make an inquiry.

“Domestic violence and abuse is a serious problem within Northern Ireland’s society and we remain committed to tackling it,” he said. “I am also encouraged by the proactive steps being taken by police and partner organisations in making their own inquiries through the scheme.

“We will continue to work in partnership with PSNI and our statutory and voluntary sector colleagues to help create a safe community where we respect the law and each other.”

PSNI Det Supt Ryan Henderson, from the PSNI’s Public Protection Branch, said the scheme focuses on preventing people from becoming victims.

“Abusers can often move from relationship to relationship, leaving a trail of abuse which the scheme stops from remaining hidden,” he said.

“One year on from the launch, I am pleased to see the uptake in the number of people who have come forward to apply. This has surpassed our expectations and shows the scheme has a vital part to play in tackling domestic abuse.” - PA