Domestic abuse reported to Police Scotland 'every eight minutes'

Investigations have resulted in 43 offenders being sentenced to a total of 272 years in prison since April last year.

Domestic abuse reported to Police Scotland ‘every eight minutes’ Getty Images

Police Scotland responds to a report of domestic abuse “every eight minutes” on average, the force has said.

In the last 12 months, the Domestic Abuse Taskforce convicted 43 perpetrators of a total of 364 domestic abuse offences totalling sentences of 272 years in prison.

Police identified a total of 139 victims and attended nearly 65,000 domestic abuse calls per year, on average receiving a call every eight minutes.

Around 42% of the calls resulted in a crime being recorded.

Sentences to offenders included 1,119 years of non-harassment orders (NHOs), 21 indefinite NHOs and four abusers were given orders of lifelong restriction.

Detective chief superintendent Sam Faulds, head of public protection at Police Scotland, said: “These are significant outcomes for victims, the result of that first step taken to tell someone, an officer or a support worker, of the abuse they have suffered.

“Our Domestic Abuse Taskforce takes on the most complex, challenging and sensitive enquiries often involving multiple victims who have suffered years of abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional and financial.

“We understand how difficult it can be for people to report abuse, to revisit a painful past. It is really important people understand that they are not alone, help is available.

“Society is changing. Domestic abuse in all its forms is now recognised and not ignored. Ultimately, we are working, with partners, to prevent domestic abuse, and to reduce the harm it causes.

“Tackling domestic abuse is a priority for Police Scotland. Every officer is trained to deal with domestic incidents, and to identify the full range of abuse that offenders use to control, coerce and instil fear in victims.

“If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned that someone you know is a victim, then please report to Police Scotland or through one of our partner agencies.

“We will take action and we will investigate.”

From April to December 2023, police data claims 46,195 domestic incidents were reported and 26,300 crimes were recorded.

Recorded domestic crimes are down 5.1% – 1,399 crimes – compared to the same period last year, and down 8.7% – 2,511 crimes – compared to the five-year mean.

Yet reports of domestic incidents had increased by 2.0% – 892 incidents – compared to last year.

Of the crimes recorded, 1,505 fell under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act, which is a 13.2% increase – 175 crimes – on the previous year.

Requests to the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland (DSDAS) increased by 23.5% overall compared to the same period last year.

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