A THIRD of domestic violence cases reported in Monmouthshire took place in Abergavenny last year, according to statistics.

Thornwell ward in Chepstow saw more than one incident reported each week in 2011-12 and ranked third highest out of 43 wards.

The top two wards, Lansdown and Croesonen in Abergavenny, saw 68 and 57 incidents respectively.

Only one ward in the county, Mitchel Troy in Monmouth, reported no incidents in 2011-12.

In total 782 incidents were reported across the county, with approximately 300 reported in Abergavenny, 167 in Chepstow and 128 in Caldicot.

Councillor Armand Watts, who represents Thornwell ward, said he was satisfied his constituents were reporting to police.

“In many ways it’s healthy that people are prepared to come forward,” he said.

“The difficulty is if you get into the more middle-class rural wards, and it is a professional couple with what they see as some kind of holding in the community. It is less likely they will actually report that incident.

“A lot of these things go unreported.”

Raising the profile of issues surrounding domestic abuse, through social media, leafleting and coffee mornings, could encourage more people to come forward, he said.

Cllr Roger Harris, whose Croesonen ward had the second highest number of reported domestic abuse incidents, said the 2011-12 statistics were first shared at a ward meeting last month.

He said: “I am not unduly surprised that we have a high proportion in my ward and Lansdown ward. They were Communities First areas, the most deprived in the county, so it is not surprising, but it also happens in the best of homes.”

Speaking about Abergavenny’s domestic abuse multi-agency centre, Cllr Harris said: “I don’t think it is the reason behind [the figures] although I have no evidence for that. The households where domestic abuse is happening in the majority of cases are not aware where they can go for help.”

Out of the five Gwent counties, Monmouthshire has the lowest number of reported incidents, said Rachel Allen, Monmouthshire’s domestic abuse and sexual violence coordinator, at a meeting of the Severnside Area Committee on Tuesday.

“The most prevalent areas are in the south of the county,” she said. “To have a presence in the south we would be more effective.”

The council would be working with elected members and Police Community Support Officers to provide leaflets and posters in the four worst-affected wards.

How wards compare

Lansdown, Abergavenny, 68 reported incidents.

Croesonen, Abergavenny, 57

Thornwell, Chepstow, 56

Grofield, Abergavenny, 44

West End, Caldicot, 41

Llanfoist Fawr (South), Abergavenny, 41

Dewstow, Caldicot, 38

Drybridge, Monmouth, 33

St Christophers, Chepstow, 31

The Elms, Chepstow, 25

Larkfield, Chepstow, 23

Green Lane, Caldicot, 22

Llanelly Hill, Abergavenny, 22

Priory, Abergavenny, 20

St Marys, Chepstow, 20

Rogiet, 19

Severn, Caldicot, 17

Overmonnow, Monmouth, 17

Wyesham, Monmouth, 14

Trellech United, 12

Where to obtain advice

THE Monmouthshire domestic abuse multiagency centre on Monk Street, Abergavenny, can be reached Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, on 01291 733590 for support from a range of services including Women’s Aid, house advice, drug and alcohol support, debt and legal advice.

Alternatively, call the All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence helpline on 0808 80 10 800.