DOMESTIC abuse reports made to Greater Manchester Police (GMP) from Bolton have fallen but the force is still treating such crimes as one of its “highest priorities”.

Data released by GMP found there were 6,158 reports of domestic abuse made to the force by people in Bolton from September 1, 2019, to August 31 this year.

That number is 13 per cent lower than the previous period (7,111) and 18 per cent lower than 2017/18 (7,543).

But despite the reduction in police reports, Bolton domestic abuse charity Fortalice, which also manages a women’s refuge, has not noticed a decrease in the amount of referrals in recent years.

During the lockdown it witnessed dips in people reporting incidents which they say may have been because victims were trapped at home with perpetrators.

Detective Chief Inspector Judith Holmes, of GMP, said: “Covid-19 is an extremely challenging situation for everyone as we are faced with a rapidly changing environment, which brings with it many challenges.

“Domestic abuse remains one of the highest priorities for Greater Manchester Police, and we continue to adapt our resources and approaches to ensure we are playing our part in protecting the vulnerable members of society.

“Every month we hold a live question and answer session via social media channels which is open to anyone, and this is done with various partners to offer victims another way to access support and to also encourage anyone who may be worried about someone they know, to reach out.

“The sessions have proven highly effective, and have provided the opportunity to offer two-way support, with us and different support services from across Greater Manchester.

“We closely review incidents of domestic abuse to ascertain the impact of Covid-19, and would like to remind everyone the support is very much available for anyone who may need it, whether this is from us or other support both locally in Greater Manchester and UK-wide support.”

Police are also appealing for domestic abuse victims or people who may someone who is suffering to come forward.

DCI Holmes said: “If you’re a victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned about someone you know, please use our online reporting facility, call 101 or use our LiveChat facility on our website. In an emergency that’s ongoing or life is in danger, always dial 999.

“Alternatively, Greater Manchester Victims Services can provide independent emotional and practical support for anyone affected by crime.

“You can contact the service by visiting the website on or calling 0161 200 1950.”

The last GMP domestic abuse online Q&A session took place last week.