Police Scotland crack down on domestic violence

Police Scotland has launched a national campaign to intensify its focus on tackling all forms of domestic abuse during the festive season – a time when domestic abuse incidents noticeably increase.

It makes it clear to perpetrators that Police Scotland will not tolerate domestic abuse with the warning – If You Do It, We Will Find You.

TV adverts – 13 Days of Christmas – will run from tonight to highlight the intent of the police operation from Christmas Eve and into the first days of January 2014.

There were more than 60,000 incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland reported in 2012/13.

Between the creation of Police Scotland on April 1, 2013, and December 2, 2013, there were 38,977 domestic incidents recorded.

During this period the detection rate for domestic abuse crime/offences was 80.1% and there were 2829 detections for Domestic Abuse bail offences.

Tayside Division has long recognised the malignant nature of domestic abuse and the devastating effect it can have upon its victims and their families.

With this in mind, officers know that it is imperative that the abusers are held to account for their actions and behaviour and strive to ensure that those who suffer domestic violence or abuse are given the right support.

Detective Inspector Tom Leonard of the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said:

‘‘It is desperately sad to realise that at a time of good will to all that we actually see a marked increase in reports of domestic abuse. Contributory factors can be alcohol consumption, people spending more time together during the holiday and even the financial pressures of affording Christmas.

‘‘They might be contributory factors, but they are in no way excuses and must never be seen as such.

‘‘Domestic abuse in all its guises can and does have a dreadful impact on its victims. Police Scotland and its partners maintain a focus on this issue throughout the year. But it is important to shine a light on such appalling, criminal behaviour at this time of year, when there is a spike in the reporting of such incidents.

‘‘Our officers will target domestic abuse as a priority, taking every opportunity to expose, investigate, record and tackle domestic abuse in whatever form it takes. We are sending a very clear message to that small but nonetheless significant number of people who wrongly believe that violence, including domestic abuse, is normal – acceptable even.

‘‘It is not and your actions will not be tolerated. If you commit domestic abuse you will be dealt with vigorously, decisively and experience the full force of the law.

‘‘People who engage in domestic abuse will be arrested and treated as the violent criminal they are and those persistent and serial offenders should be aware that they are very much in our sights.’’

The desire to dominate or control a partner is rarely a one-off event. Research shows that individuals are frequently subjected to numerous incidents before seeking help and support, initially from the police and then from other support networks.

Living in an environment of domestic abuse invariably exposes children and other family members to harm. Aside from the physical and emotional danger, youngsters in their tender years of development can be left with the belief that such behaviour is normal and this is something they carry into their adult life.

Police Scotland is determined to break that cycle of abusive behaviour and assist those caught within it. Police officers and their partner agencies want to assure victim’s of such behaviour that there is a route out of their nightmare.

Help is available. No one should ever be subjected to bullying, harassment, or even physical assaults at the hands of another, within the confines of their own home, let alone someone they know, trust and may have once loved, or love still.

Anyone reporting an incident will see their situation thoroughly and sensitively investigated and. Partner agencies are readily available to offer support and assist in dismantling this cycle of behaviour.

Victims of domestic abuse, female and male, can contact the Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234 (24 hours) to access support or for referrals to local support providers.

For the perpetrators of domestic abuse, there is also the confidential service offered by the Respect Helpline 0808 802 4040.