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Police Scotland urge public to get in touch

By Kirsty Brown

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Police Scotland is urging people to share their concerns as a new report highlights an increase in offences in private and virtual spaces.

Police Scotland’s Quarter 4 Performance Report is the final one of the 2019-20 performance cycle, and it shows almost 1,700 offences were recorded under new domestic abuse laws during its first year in legislation.

Introduced on April 1 2019 the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act criminalised the coercive and controlling behaviours used by domestic abusers, creating a single offence which covers the full range of abusive behaviours whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

The report reveals 1,681 crimes under DASA were recorded during the year, with 1,158 detected.

The new offences are counted within group one crimes of violence, which increased by 1,297 crimes (16.2 percent) year on year overall.

The Performance Report also highlights increases in crimes with a cyber element, including the disclosure of, or threat of disclosure of, intimate images, as well as online grooming and cyber-related fraud.

The period covered by this report includes only a very small number of days during which emergency measures to ensure physical distancing in response to coronavirus were in place.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “Crimes recorded under the new domestic abuse legislation underline the fact that sadly private, and indeed virtual, spaces are not safe places for everyone.

“For some people, the stay at home guidance may expose them to a greater risk of abuse, harm and neglect.

“We are seeking to be proactive when it comes to people we know have a history of committing domestic violence or domestic abuse, and we also want to ensure that support is given to people who may have been victims in the past, and we are encouraging people and neighbours to look out for each other.

“I want to reiterate that Police Scotland remains here to help and support our fellow citizens to keep them safe in all aspects of their lives.

“If you need police assistance, if you need our support or intervention, or if you have concerns about someone else, contact us and we will help.”

The report will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee today (May 28).

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