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Police Scotland urge public to raise concerns

Published 25 May 2020

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor has urged people to share their concerns with police as a new report highlights offences in the private and virtual spaces.

Police Scotland’s Quarter 4 Performance Report is our final one of the 2019-20 performance cycle that supports our outcomes focused approach to reporting.

It shows almost 1,700 offences were recorded under new domestic abuse laws during its first year in legislation.

Introduced on 1 April 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 1 crimes of violence, which increased by 1,297 crimes (16.2%) 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, which can be read here, will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Thursday, 28 May, 2020.

Police Scotland has also published detailed management information covering Quarter 4 here. The data, while not official statistics, relates mainly to crime recorded by Police Scotland.

To assist public understanding of our work, Police Scotland is providing provisional information about the nature and level of demand on policing specifically for the period during which the measures have been in place and how we are responding to this public health emergency. Find out more here.

Further, detailed, management information relating to the period beginning April 2020 will be published routinely in the Q1 of 2020-21 Performance Report and management information.


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