The number of police on-call in the South West has been increased in response to a rise in domestic violence across the summer holidays. The number of domestic violence reports spike every year during the holidays and South West police made sure they had enough staff on stand-by to help those in need. Supt Geoff Stewart said South West police were on high-alert this holiday season. “The South West experienced a tremendous increase like we always do this time every year,” he said. “We’ve had additional police in our family violence unit and the Department of Communities and other supporting agencies have been doing extra work over the last few weeks as well.” Research shows that domestic violence reports spike during the holidays, with research from the University of New South Wales suggesting the added financial pressures and stresses of Christmas make existing patterns of violence worsen. Supt Stewart said it’s heartbreaking that what should be a fun and festive time of year turns into the most dangerous time for some. “There are families in what should have been a happy time of the year that are dealing with violence in the home, and it’s sad that rates have certainly increased,” he said. He said that the South West police rely heavily on calls and feedback from the public, and urge anyone who has a loved one dealing with violence in the home to give them a call. “Family violence is probably one of the main things that we do every single day,” he said. “It all comes down to family, friends, loved ones or whatever, if the victim’s unable to get help, or is finding it really hard to make a call, we ask on them to make a call to let someone know so we can actually get them some assistance. “ Anyone who needs assistance is urged to call the domestic violence hotline on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.