DOMESTIC abuse arrests in Barnsley have almost quadrupled since the start of the year, shock new figures released by the police reveal.

There has been a large increase in the number of arrests at the scenes of domestic abuses cases in the district in the past eight months, rising from 14 per cent to 55 per cent.

Barnsley was the first district in the South Yorkshire force to introduce dedicated domestic abuse teams last year, aiming to eradicate cases across the borough.

The town’s victim satisfaction rate over the last year was also the highest in the force at 83 per cent - though these surveys were stopped due to the current pandemic which subsequently impacted the partnership with Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS).

A police report stated: “Unfortunately, the satisfaction surveys have been suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“This has also impacted, to some extent, on our partnership approach to safeguarding as our co-located partners from IDAS have had to work from home.

“However, our commitment to working together to reduced victim attrition and support victims has not wavered and this is being done virtually as our Multi-Agency Domestic Abuse (MADA) meetings at which the police, IDAS and children’s social care discuss high-risk cases, ensuring fast time safeguarding actions are taken.”

Alongside this, the Safer Barnsley Partnership has also been working with the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit over the last year to help prevent offending and victimisation.

“Since April, we have been developing our localised action plan, mapping current provision against the objectives in the violence reduction strategy and identifying gaps across the district and in bespoke wards, using the area profile to inform this activity,” the report added.

“Our action plan will be ready for submission by the August deadline, alongside our initial bid for £30,000 funding which, if approved, will enable us to quickly start work on tackling the more entrenched causation factors that lead people into violence.”

The last year saw a higher number of ‘most serious violence’ incidents than the previous year.

The start of the financial year saw the numbers drop, but as lockdown restrictions eased the numbers spiked in June to similar levels as to before Christmas.

June also saw two homicides - currently under investigation - with the remainder being assaults in that month.

“Analysis of the assaults shows that these incidents are not connected, however a number are linked to potential drugs taxings,” the report continued.

“The incidents have taken place all over the district, with slightly higher numbers in the wards identified in the violence reduction unit’s area profile, highlighting the need for place-based activity that is being developed in our action plan, alongside the more generic provision across the district.

“Many of the June assaults are inevitably still under investigation within our CID portfolio and every effort is being made to prosecute those responsible.

“Over recent months, there have been an extraordinary number of complex investigations that are still ongoing.

“These are both emotionally traumatic and time-consuming for the investigators.”