Page last updated at 12:41 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 13:41 UK

Police to target domestic abuse

domestic violence
Incidents of domestic violence increase during the festive period

Almost 6,900 incidents of domestic violence were reported to Scotland's police forces during a festive crackdown between December and January.

The Violence Reduction Unit, (VRU), figures showed a further 6,035 children were exposed to domestic abuse during the same period.

The figures have prompted police to announce a six-month campaign to tackle the problem to start in the autumn.

Police described domestic violence as "Scotland's national shame".

The new campaign will begin in October with a month-long analysis of the issue in individual force areas.

This will be followed by a month of planning, then two months of operational activity during the Christmas and New Year period.

It is really concerning that so many children have been vulnerable to the effects of these events.
Chf Insp Cameron Cavin
Violence Reduction Unit

The previous festive campaign saw officers make visits to households where suspected offenders are banned and A&E unit across Scotland put in place initiatives to encourage reporting of domestic abuse.

Campaign co-ordinator Ch Insp Cameron Cavin said: "These figures are shocking and highlight the fact that despite everything, many people still think it is okay to be violent towards a partner.

"It is really concerning that so many children have been vulnerable to the effects of these events.

"Domestic abuse is Scotland's national shame, a shame which lies at the roots of much of the other violence we see in our society today and it is not acceptable."

Raising awareness

He added: "We take this issue very seriously, which is why we will be launching an intensive six month campaign to tackle the problem later this year.

"Working with partners from domestic abuse groups, Crimestoppers, the police and the justice system, together we will work harder and smarter to prevent domestic abuse."

Lily Greenan, of Scottish Women's Aid, welcome the latest police crackdown.

She said: "Awareness campaigns like this, play a valuable role in encouraging victims to make contact with the police, and the VRU is to be commended for the high priority it has given to tackling domestic abuse."

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