Domestic violence call-outs in Hawke's Bay doubled over the four days of Christmas and a number of people will face court in the New Year for allegedly assaulting their loved ones.
Hawke's Bay police attended more than 20 domestic-violence incidents from Christmas Eve to yesterday morning. Usually in a four-day period there would be about half that, said Family Violence Team Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard.
"We have seen in increase the amount of reported family violence for this time of year," he said. "Looking at what's waiting for us to tally up, there is in excess of 20 over the space of three to four days."
A number of assault charges were laid in relation to the incidents, but final numbers were not yet available.
Mr Pritchard said Christmas was the busiest time for agencies dealing with domestic violence, and in December and January last year Hawke's Bay police dealt with the highest number of incidents on record.
"There are a number of factors that contribute to the violence around drinking side of things, people getting together who don't get on, the hot temperatures and apparently even the nocturnal winds make people cranky."
He said it was encouraging that people were picking up the phone to call for help. "For me, I have got to look at the positives of domestic violence and that's that there is a lot more people now prepared to ring and ask for some help."
Before Christmas, Mr Pritchard and his team provided care packages to 20 families who had taken steps to stop violence in their homes. "We haven't attended any incidents with the families we visited."
The initiative joined local agencies Dove Hawke's Bay, Child, Youth and Family, Hawke's Bay District Health Board's Mental Health and Addiction services, Department of Corrections and Women's Refuge to produce the packages.