Essex police commissioner Nick Alston has said money invested in combating domestic violence is working despite a rise in reported incidents.

The updated Police and Crime Plan showed an 11.8 per cent rise in serious violent crime, which includes domestic abuse, in the 12 months up to the end of March this year.

However, Mr Alston claims the rise can be explained by more victims of domestic violence coming forward to report incidents to the police.

He said: “I would never say that a rise in statistics like this is a good thing, but it does mean that more instances of domestic abuse are being reported, meaning the victims can receive the help they need.

“Domestic abuse is often a hidden harm and statistics suggest that a victim can endure up to 30 incidents before they report it to the police.”

Mr Alston has said his office has invested more than £580,000 across Essex to combat domestic violence, including a share of £33,000 to Epping’s Community Safety Partnership (CSP).

He added: “I know that Epping has a really good CSP. It is really well led and very active in the community.

“One of their priorities is domestic violence and the money invested ensures that local policing reflects local priorities”

Mr Alson said the money invested will pay for raising domestic abuse awareness and training programmes.

The updated Police and Crime Plan builds on plans made in spring 2013 and showed a 0.8 per cent reduction in crime across Essex, as well as a five per cent decrease in house burglary.