Improvement in domestic abuse detection rates within Lothians and Scottish Borders

Thursday November 12th 2020


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A commitment to tackling all forms of domestic abuse has resulted in improved detection rates with the Lothians and Scottish Borders.

Police Scotland has today issued its Q2 Management Information data for the period of April 1, to September 30 2020, which shows that within the division, 45 offences under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 were detected, compared with 21 during the same time last year.

Domestic abuse remains a largely under-reported crime and extensive work has been carried out to improve confidence in policing and encourage reporting to police.

As a result, an additional 21 offences against women were recorded, with one offence against a man also recorded – one more than the previous year.

Proactive work in the Lothians and Scottish Borders has also resulted in a rise in some drugs and weapon offences.

In total, 11 more crimes for carrying an offensive weapon were recorded, while four more were recorded for carrying a bladed weapon. Similarly, the number of supply of drugs crimes recorded rose from 154, to 179.

Like the rest of Scotland, a rise in the number of frauds being recorded has been observed, with 142 additional crimes being recorded, an increase of almost 35 per cent.

There has also been an upturn in the number of attacks on emergency service workers, with the number rising from 209, to 220.

The division has also seen increases in offences for indecent images of children and the threatening or distribution of intimate images. The former rose from 23 to 34 and the latter from 23 to 47.

However, detection is up overall by around eight percentage points for sexual crime offences, which include rape, indecent images of children, public indecency and sexual exposure.

Following concerns about dangerous driving on many of the divisions’ quieter roads during the summer, police have increased their visibility across the road network. This has led to an increase in driving offences such as dangerous driving, drunk driving, speeding and driving without a licence.

There have been positive indications for road safety, with a decline in the number of fatal, serious and slight injury collisions.

Chief Superintendent John McKenzie, Divisional Commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders said:

“Unlike our first quarter data, we are now seeing a return to normal crime levels, but nonetheless, the rise in various motoring offences is immensely disappointing and our Road Policing Officers will continue to patrol the division’s road networks to identify such crimes.

“What is also totally unacceptable is the increase in attacks of emergency service personnel, including my officers. The Chief Constable has underlined his commitment to this issue with a pledge to support their safety and welfare and I want to assure my own staff that there safety is my top priority and any assault while they are undertaking their duties will not be tolerated.

“I am encouraged, however, by the increased detection rate for domestic abuse and want to assure communities that we will continue to do everything we can to support victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

“The online realm is a continually challenging platform for police and this remains apparent with the rise in various offences, not only within our division, but throughout Scotland.

“Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor has today said that the Police Scotland cyber strategy gives clear direction on how we tackle the threat, risk and harm of digitally-enabled crime.”

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