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Domestic Abuse Incidents and Crimes Data, Northern Ireland

Data on domestic abuse incidents and crimes recorded by the PSNI in 2014/15.

There are two tables in this dataset:

  • Incidents: reports made to PSNI, including when the report was made, the area and policing district of the incident, and whether a file was passed to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).
  • Crimes: where an incident has been reported to PSNI and meets the definition of a crime in line with National Crime Recording Standards, with further information about the crime, victim(s) age and gender, and the case outcome ('detection').

In each case, the incident or crime meets the definition of domestic abuse (see below). Each incident and crime is given a unique ID number. Where an incident has resulted in the recording of the crime, the 'incident ID' will read across both tables. Not all incidents reported necessarily meet the definition of a crime, and a single incident may relate to one or more crimes (as in the case of multiple victims, for example). Because of this, not all 'incident ID' numbers have a correlating 'crime ID' number in this dataset. Please note that these identification numbers do not correspond with the domestic abuse homicides dataset.

Note that some of the 'year occurred' field entries are recorded as 'pre-2014/15': this is where an incident or crime occurred at some point before April 2014 but was reported to the police in 2014/15. 

The data is correct as of July 17th 2015. Changes recorded in the PSNI database may occur after this date, including the circumstances of a case, additional cases, and how a case is disposed/detected.

The police can be contacted on 0845 600 8000 or 999 in an emergency. 

Women's Aid NI Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline can be contacted 24 hours a day on 0808 802 1414.

You can follow events at the QUB’s European Conference on Domestic Violence (@ECDV) using the Twitter hashtag #ECDV2015.


The under-reporting of domestic abuse incidents is known to be an issue, due to the nature of the crime. Therefore, users should be aware that the data does not disclose the true extent of domestic abuse in Northern Ireland. Though not directly comparable with this dataset, statistics from the Northern Ireland Crime Survey give a sense of the scale of under-reporting of domestic abuse. From 2008/09 to 2010/11, only 31.1% of domestic abuse 'worst' cases were reported to the police. In the case of lifetime abuse cases (where the victim had experienced some form of partner abuse at any time since the age of 16), the figure is even lower: only 27.1% of these cases had been reported to police.

Information on statistic collection

Domestic abuse is defined for the recording of crime reported statistics as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on one person by another where they are or have been intimate partners or family members, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation’.

The identification of a domestic abuse motivation is derived from a motivation ‘tick box’ on the system used by PSNI to record crime. The motivation is identified and completed by a police officer or member of police staff for each such reported incident or crime. The correct application of a domestic abuse motivation for all such incidents/crimes is not quality assured by the PSNI’s Statistics Branch, but audits and data quality checks are routinely conducted in an attempt to ensure that any under or over-recording is corrected. 

Note that there is a difference between an 'incident' and a 'crime'. Therefore, not all domestic abuse incidents will result in the recording of a crime as the incident may not be of the level of severity that would result in a notifiable offence being recorded. All reports made to the PSNI are recorded as incidents in compliance with the National Standard for Incident Reporting (NSIR). Where the incident is identified as meeting the National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and the Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR)they are recorded as crimes.

Detected crimes are those that have been ‘cleared up’ (or 'solved') by the police. Not every case where the police know, or think they know, who committed a crime can be counted as a detection, and some crimes are counted as detected when the victim might view the case otherwise. For any crime to be counted as detected, sufficient evidence must be available to claim a detection.

This dataset was used in the Detail Data story 'Home is where the hurt is' published 6 September 2015.

Data and Resources

Dataset Info

These fields are compatible with DCAT, an RDF vocabulary designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.
Police Service of Northern Ireland
Modified Date
Release Date
Licence Not Specified
Open Definition
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Area (WKT)
POLYGON ((-8.21777 55.3291, -5.3064 55.3291, -5.3064 54.04, -8.21777 54.04, -8.21777 55.3291))
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location
Northern Ireland
Temporal Coverage
01/04/2014 to 31/03/2015
Data Dictionary
Incident ID: unique identifier number (reads across both incidents and crimes tables) | Crime ID: unique identifier number for crimes | Area: based on pre-2014 Local Government District plus 4 Belfast (N,S,E,W) | District: NI Policing District (pre-April 2015) | Month Occurred | Year Occurred: whether pre-2014/15 or in 2014/15 | Overall Crime Category: higher-level crime classification | Crime Sub Category: numbered sub categories of crimes (see for full list) | Victim Age: where applicable | Victim Gender: where applicable | Detection Category: how a case has been disposed (including discretionary disposals and penalty notices, where a sanction is issued with the involvement of PPS) | File Forwarded To PPS/Courts: Yes/No of whether a prosecution was pursued
Contact Name
Bob Harper
Contact Email
Public Access Level