NEWS ROUNDUP: Leeds domestic violence stats
14/07/21 | Leeds local news | A report by Leeds City Council officers calls the numbers of domestic violence incidents in the city an “ongoing concern”, adding the Covid-19 pandemic was a “terrifying” time for victims.
Between April and September 2020 in Leeds, there was a weekly average of 452 domestic incidents reported to the police, with 97 calls made to the Leeds Domestic Violence Service.
Data from Leeds City Council also shows around 40 per cent of domestic violence incidents are repeat calls while, in the last 12 months, 6,054 domestic incidents in the city had a child present in the home.
The report stated: “There is an ongoing concern, that the demand on the Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) helpline has increased and we’re working with them to identify ways to increase their capacity.”
It added that problems such as “forced coexistence, economic stress and fear about the virus” may have contributed to its increase during the lockdown. It also said the instances of domestic abuse vary significantly between different wards in the city, with “more economically deprived areas” experiencing a greater volume.
The report said: “There has perhaps never been a more dangerous or frightening time for victims of domestic abuse trapped in lockdown with an abusive partner or family member.
“Victims and families are now spending much more time at home with their abuser and are much more isolated from help and support which significantly increases their risk of harm. Home is not a safe place to be for people living with an abusive partner of family member.
“Their ability to seek help is extremely compromised as they cannot leave the house as they wish or make a phone call without been (sic) overheard.
“During lockdown there is also less opportunity for professionals, agencies or family and friends to pick up on signs of abuse as there is such a reduction in both face to face and telephone contact.
“In the current climate of self-isolation including from friends or family outside the same household, whilst necessary to reduce the spread of coronavirus, will also impact on the opportunity for victims of domestic abuse to escape control and seek and obtain such help.”
Council officers say a tactical group was set up to provide a way of monitoring trends and responding to them, while the LDVS has had to secure government funding for an extra seven properties to increase the refuge’s capacity for those fleeing domestic violence.
The report follows the Domestic Abuse Act, which was recently introduced by Government. The act places a duty on local authorities, such as Leeds City Council, to provide accommodation support to victims of domestic abuse in refuges and other safe accommodation.
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has allocated Leeds an extra £1.8m for the coming year to do this.
The council report states that it has set up a domestic abuse partnership board, and is also in the process of developing a new strategy to help tackle domestic abuse.
(LDRS | Richard Beecham)
Visitors to three attractions in York – JORVIK Viking Centre, Barley Hall and DIG – will continue to be requested to follow Covid-19 precautions when national restrictions lift on July 19, attraction bosses have revealed.
The advisory measures – which include social distancing, the wearing of masks and a prebooking requirement – will be strongly suggested following feedback from visitors and staff on what would make them feel safer once the national restrictions lift in ten days’ time. The impact is likely to be felt most keenly at the busiest attraction in the group, JORVIK Viking Centre.
“Our visitor research shows that many of our Covid-safe measures have improved the visiting experience – from the reduction in queueing time outside to live talks in the Discover Coppergate gallery – and though these have a small impact on how many people can visit during any given time slot, it seems like a positive step forward which benefits our visitors,” comments director of attractions, Sarah Maltby. “We will be extending opening hours on our busiest days, opening up timeslots into the evening as daytime slots fill up so that no visitor to York goes disappointed that they haven’t been able to enjoy our world-famous Viking experience.”
All public-facing members of staff will continue to wear facemasks, with visitors strongly encouraged to follow suit. “We are incredibly proud of being an inclusive attraction, and as such, we want visitors who might worry about the lifting of restrictions – including the immuno-supressed, vulnerable people and those who have not yet been vaccinated – to feel safe when visiting,” adds Sarah. “It also provides a degree of reassurance for our staff, who come face-to-face with thousands of visitors each day, that we are doing all we can to keep them safe, whilst still offering our experiences to local people and tourists alike.”
The JORVIK team hopes that this will also support the York-wide effort to keep cases low – and minimise the need for self-isolation, which can have a huge impact on staffing. “We are already seeing bars and restaurants across the city facing temporary closures as staff are ‘pinged’ by the Covid app, requiring to self-isolate. Anything we can do to help minimise this contributes to keeping York open for business at a crucial time of year,” says Sarah.
Prebooking is strongly recommended at all attractions, though standby-places will be offered when timeslots are not full. This helps minimise the need for face-to-face interactions at the admission desks, and reduce the amount of time spent queuing – bringing an end to a generation-long tradition of queues around Coppergate during the summer months.
The world’s oldest soccer club has launched a campaign to buy back a rule book said to be the first official guide to the modern game - and "bring football home".
Rules, Regulations, and Laws of the Sheffield Foot-Ball Club, was printed in 1859.
Sheffield FC, which predates the FA by six years, produced the booklet and gave a copy to every member after its committee met to draft the laws of the game in 1858.
The club, acknowledged as the world’s oldest, said it sold its previously owned copy as part of a package of memorabilia to raise £891,000 to keep the club’s current ground.
Now it has launched a crowdfunding bid to buy back the 'exceptional' piece of sporting history which is to be sold at Sotheby's on July 20, with online bidding opening from Monday (July 12).
The auctioneers believe the 16-page booklet could fetch between £50,000 and £70,000 and is one of only two known copies - the other being the first ever version.
The club, who currently ply their trade in in the Northern Premier League Division One East in the eighth level of the football pyramid, are hoping to buy the historic document back.
A fundraiser has been launched with the auction set to end on July 20 with a starting bid of £45,000.
Club chairman Richard Tims said he hopes ‘a little piece of football truly comes home’.
He said: “There is only one other copy in existence and is in private collector hands.
"It cannot be underestimated the importance of this item not only for the club but to be displayed to a wider audience.
"After selling some of our collection during the last financial crisis to secure our home stadium from the bank we now have an opportunity to rebuild our collection in time for the development of our new stadium and visitor centre/museum.
"What a great story for football if we can achieve this. A little piece of football truly comes home.”
The booklet, which is owned by club member William Bakers, is bound in a Victorian scrapbook of printed letters and cuttings.
The formal rule-based game of football was a Victorian innovation, incubated at public schools and universities.
However, it was the foundation of Sheffield Football Club that brought the game into the community.
They played a crucial role in the development of the modern game: the indirect free kick, the corner kick, and the crossbar were all innovations of the Sheffield game.
The club committee held a series of meetings in October 1858 to draft the laws of the game, and it was agreed they be printed and a copy given to every member of the club.
Prior to the discovery of the current copy, the only known copy of the first printed rules was the one that formed part of the historic archive of the club itself.
Mr Tims added: "We were surprised to hear it was for sale, because we thought there was only one copy in existence.
"There were a number of members who had them in 1859, but the chances of it surviving seem so remote. They are only strung together with a piece of cotton.
“We’re very excited that it’s turned up. We’ve had a meeting and we’d like to buy it if we can raise the money. We’re going to set up a crowdfunding page and use our international network to see if we can get it.”
Dr Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts Specialist said: “This exceptional piece of sporting history takes us straight back to the origins of ‘the beautiful game’ over 160 years ago.
“It was in Sheffield that football was first revealed as an unrivalled spectator sport, that the experience of interclub competition was first experienced, and that football fans first revealed their loyalty and passion.
“This was the earliest expression of the modern footballing culture we know so well today.
"As well as being an important artefact in its own right, the pamphlet also gives us a unique insight into the development of the rules of the game through hand written annotations, presumably added by its first owner, as the rules continued to be developed and altered in the early years.”
The 16-page pamphlet is also uniquely revised to keep it up to date with developments in the laws of the game.
The most significant is the hardening of the rules against handling the ball.
The 1858 rules allowed the ball to be 'pushed or hit with the hand' but not held, but in this copy a printed slip disallows 'knocking or pushing [the ball] on'.
A handwritten note finesses the throw-in, specifying that the ball must 'touch the Ground before coming in Contact with any player'.
A new law is also added by hand, requiring that flags be placed four yards from each goal post to allow a short-lived secondary scoring system called a rouge.
These revisions must have been made before 1862, when the club issued a new rulebook that included these and other changes.
(SWNS | Joe Pagnelli)
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