Domestic abuse incidents in Scotland hit record high

The number of domestic abuse incidents in Scotland has hit a record high.

Figures show the police recorded 65,251 incidents of domestic abuse in 2020/21 – an increase of 4 per cent on the previous year.

It is the fifth year in a row the total has risen.

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The number of domestic abuse incidents recorded by Police Scotland has risen again

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Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Jamie Greene called the increase "absolutely shocking".

He said: “The SNP Government’s attitude of putting criminals ahead of the victim has contributed to the year-upon-year rise in the number of domestic abuse incidents.

“Soft-touch justice policies mean that domestic abusers are being spared prison, allowing them to continue to terrorise their victims.

"And those that go to prison are let out early, free to re-offend and cause further harm to victims.

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“We must do everything we can to stand up for victims, which is why the Scottish Conservatives would put victims at the heart of Scotland’s justice system with our Victims’ Law.”

Where gender information was recorded, 80 per cent of incidents in 2020/21 involved a female victim and a male accused.

A total of 40 per cent included the recording of at least one crime or offence, with common assault the most frequent.

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur said: “Domestic abuse is a hideous, controlling and life-threatening crime.

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“With cases rising for the fifth successive year, it’s clear that cross party work and the hard work of campaigners has played a part in encouraging more people to come forward, but opportunities have been missed for supporting victims and tackling offenders.

"Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for reforms to build a presumption that the perpetrator will be required to leave the shared home and develop a new ‘destitution fund’ for people experiencing domestic abuse unable to access other sources of help.

“Likewise, we have pressed the government to deliver a commission which would bring together all the different strands of work related to violence against women. This expert commission should be tasked with reporting back to Parliament with recommendations within a year.

“These are common sense reforms that could improve people’s lives.”

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The Scottish Government has been contacted for comment.

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