The police said that it has received 1,416 reports of alleged domestic violence cases between March 2020 and December 2020.
The numbers provided by the police to The Malta Independent show a rise in the number of reports since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
When one looks at the previous year – between March 2019 and February 2020 – there were 1,458 reports of alleged domestic violence received.
However, one has to take into account that the 1,416 reports of alleged domestic violence only take into account the 10 months of the pandemic, as opposed to one whole year as is seen in the 1,458 statistic between March 2019 and March 2020.
The probability is that the number of cases in one year starting in March will be higher than the previous 12 months.
There was, in fact, an average of 122 cases between March 2019 and February 2020. On the other hand, between March 2020 to December 2020, an average of 142 alleged cases of domestic violence per month was recorded; 16% higher.
The police also noted that the number of reports may also include reports made by alleged victims of domestic abuse more than once.
Last November, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa, Minister for Home Affairs, National Security and Law Enforcement Byron Camilleri and the Prime Minister’s wife Lydia Abela officially launched a specialised domestic violence unit which had been set up within the ranks of the Police Force.
In the past, whenever a domestic violence case was reported, the specific police station would investigate the case. Gafa had explained that these cases require certain expertise and one could not expect every police officer to specialise in all the different fields.