Page last updated at 12:21 GMT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Police record more incidents of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse
Police are recording more incidents as crimes or offences

Police are recording more incidents of domestic abuse as crimes or offences, official figures have suggested.

Some 55% of all incidents are now being considered as a breach of the law, with the majority of them being referred for possible prosecution.

The Scottish government said the figures showed police were cracking down on domestic violence.

Communities Minister Alex Neil said more victims were coming forward, confident they will be supported.

The new figures, published by Scotland's chief statistician, said:

  • There were 53,681 incidents of domestic abuse recorded in 2008-09, compared with 49,655 in 2007-08, which represents an 8% rise
  • 55% of the incidents recorded by the police in 2008-09 (29,283) led to a recording of a crime or offence, up from 50% the year before
  • The most common crime remained minor assault, accounting for 23% of all incidents, followed by breach of the peace at 18%
  • The rate of recorded domestic abuse in Scotland in 2008-09 was 1,039 per 100,000 population, compared with 965 per 100,000 in 2007-08
  • The available information suggests 61% of victims had previously been recorded as a victim compared with 54% in 2007-08
  • Women are at most risk of being victims when aged between 22 and 25 years old and men when aged between 26 and 30 years old
  • In 40% of cases, the victim and perpetrator were ex-partners or ex-spouses
  • The overwhelming majority of incidents took place in the home.

Mr Neil said: "We've done a lot of work to raise awareness that this behaviour is totally unacceptable and that help is available.

"We hope that the continued rise in incidents being reported shows that more people are now coming forward, safe in the knowledge that they will be supported.

"We are also investing millions to support initiatives which help people to get their lives back on track and look forward to a brighter future."

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