Six women killed after alerting police to abusive partners

Six women have been killed in the past three years after reporting their partner or ex-partner to the police for threatening behaviour.

Moira Gilbertson was stabbed by her partner. Picture: PA

Figures released by Police Scotland show that in each of the domestic homicide cases, the female victim had previously raised concerns with officers.

The statistics led to claims Scotland’s national force is “failing to protect” women from abusive partners, but Police Scotland said it was committed to providing protection for victims of domestic abuse.

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The information was obtained by Broadly, a website which has been running the Unfollow Me campaign alongside English anti-stalking charity Paladin.

It says 49 women have been killed by partners, ex-partners or stalkers across the rest of the UK in the past three years based on information obtained from around 30 police forces.

Police Scotland said none of the perpetrators in the domestic homicide cases had previously been reported for stalking.

Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie, head of Police Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Task Force, said domestic abuse was a “priority” for his officers.

He said: “Since 2013, Police Scotland has heavily invested in its approach to domestic abuse, stalking and harassment to protect people at risk of harm.

“We established Multi-Agency Tasking and Coordination (MATAC) processes across Scotland which proactively seek to identify and focus on the perpetrators who pose the greatest risk of serious harm to victims.”

But Marsha Scott, of Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “Six women robbed of their lives by abusive men is tragic in and of itself. To know that these needless deaths might have been prevented is devastating.

“Whilst we know that policing of domestic abuse has improved immeasurably these figures show that there is no room for complacency.

“We firmly believe that Scotland needs Domestic Homicide Reviews to learn important lessons and to guide our collective approach to ending domestic abuse.”

In its original article, Broadly, part of the Vice media group, said Police Scotland had “failed” the women.

While Police Scotland did not disclose any of the women’s identities, the article highlighted the case of Moira Gilbertson, a 57-year-old woman from Edinburgh, who was stabbed to death by her partner Roger Crossan in October 2017.