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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 December 2005, 09:33 GMT
A&E plan to help violence victims
Domestic violence (generic)
Police say domestic violence incidents often increase at Christmas
A police domestic violence unit is being set up in a hospital's accident and emergency department over the Christmas period.

Officers will be on hand at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, to offer support to victims of domestic violence.

Police said there was often a surge in attacks at Christmas and the unit would help collect evidence more effectively.

The Safer Swansea partnership has also announced a number of other initiatives to tackle festive alcohol misuse.

Detective Inspector Simon Davies said the increase in reported domestic violence incidents over Christmas was related to people drinking more.

"Sending trained officers to the A&E department, which is likely to be one of the first place that victims visit, will enable us getting in touch with victims earlier and hence better collection of forensic evidence and witness statements," he said.

During the Christmas period we want everyone to have a good break and enjoy themselves - avoiding the A&E Unit should improve the enjoyment
A&E consultant Michael McCabe

"While doing that, their presence will also provide support to hospital staff and assist them in dealing with incidents of such nature."

Other measures announced by Safer Swansea included a temporary treatment clinic in the city centre.

The partnership said it was intended for patients with minor injuries and would be opened up from this weekend for the next three weeks.

It will be staffed by paramedics and experienced accident and emergency nurses.

If patients require further treatment they can be transferred to hospital that night or advised to return in the morning.

Sobering up

Michael McCabe, an A&E consultant for Swansea NHS Trust, said: "During the Christmas period we want everyone to have a good break and enjoy themselves.

"Avoiding the A&E Unit should improve the enjoyment of Christmas. Unfortunately drinking too much can land one in hospital."

Mr McCabe said Safer Swansea would also be offering people soft drinks to help them sober up and would be organising taxis to move revellers away from the city centre at closing time.

He added: "By having police and paramedics in the city centre anyone who is drunk can be looked after until they are sober, avoiding accidents.

"In addition, by spacing out alcohol consumption with some soft drinks hopefully there will be less acute abdominal emergencies in the days after Christmas.

"As a medical facility we want to see less of people over Christmas and the new year. All these initiatives will help."




SEE ALSO:
Campaign to help violence victims
16 Dec 05 |  Lancashire
Helpline for abuse victims opens
06 Dec 05 |  Merseyside


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