Wiltshire police are launching a campaign to crackdown on domestic abuse, the day after official figures revealed that it accounts for one in every five crimes recorded in the county.

Today, White Ribbon Day - a national day of awareness about male violence against women – the force is joining a nationwide “action” drive, educating about domestic abuse in schools and asking people at work to watch colleagues for any sign of it.

The White Ribbon Charity campaigns for all men to fulfil the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. The organisation acts as a catalyst to encourage people to individually and collectively take action and change behaviour.

Wiltshire police say the campaign is also directed to abuse of men, as 16 per cent of men have been affected by domestic violence.

The campaign is supported by Wiltshire Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, local authorities, charities and healthcare providers.

Its launch follows the release of figures from the Office of National Statistics which reveal that two in every 10 recorded crimes in Wiltshire, in the 12 months up to March 2021, involve domestic abuse.

According to Home Office figures, Wiltshire Police recorded a total of 14,237 domestic abuse-related crimes and incidents in the 12 months leading up to March 2021.

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said: “Whilst these figures are the 13th lowest figure of all 43 Forces in England and Wales, Wiltshire Police and partnership agencies are determined to build on previous work to tackle domestic violence.”

Detective Inspector Helen Clarke from Wiltshire Police added: “This year’s White Ribbon Day reflects our collective commitment, as a police force, as a society, to prevent violence against women and girls.

“We fully support this campaign as well as the following 16 days of action which focuses on all aspects of domestic abuse against anyone who is a victim of this crime.

“We will not stop after the 16 days of action either and will continue our work to tackle the perpetrators of violence towards women and men.

“With the help of our partners across the criminal justice system we are committed to making long-lasting change to the daily lives of anyone who faces coercion, and mental and physical violence from a partner. Whoever they are.”

The police spokesman added: “Over the next 16 days, we will be working with schools to promote healthy relationship messages to young people, encouraging people to look out for the potential signs of domestic abuse of colleagues they work with and highlighting the experiences of victims of domestic abuse.

“Figures from 16 Days of Action show 25 per cent of women and 16 per cent of men are affected by domestic violence in their adult lifetimes. A further 75 per cent of people who endure domestic violence are targeted at work and 68 per cent of abused women miss at least three days of work a month.”

People who are experiencing domestic abuse in Wiltshire can access local support from:

SWA: Swindon Domestic Abuse Support www.swadomesticabuse.org/ 01793 610 610 24 hour help line, or Splitz Support Service: www.splitz.org/wiltshire/ 24 hr help line on 01793 610 610 24