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702 cases of domestic abuse

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MORE than 700 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to police in Dumfries and Galloway in the space of just 183 days this year.

Between April and September this year a total of 702 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to officers locally – an increase of 17.2 per cent compared to the same period the previous year.

And a crime or offence was recorded at 647 of these incidents, up 13.9 per compared to last year.

The figures are part of a report prepared by Police Scotland ahead of next week’s Dumfries and Galloway Council Police, Fire and Rescue Sub Committee. The report states: “The number of reported domestic abuse incidents and crimes and have increased by 17.2 per cent, however this should not be interpreted as 103 additional victims as some victims are the subject of multiple crimes. The associated detection rate continues to remain consistent on the previous year with one of the highest conversion rates from incidents to crimes in Scotland, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to recording, investigating and detecting all forms of domestic abuse related crime.”

The report also explains that a 29.5 per cent increase in crimes of violence between April and September can be “almost completely accounted for” by the introduction of section 1 of the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018. It came into force on April 1 this year and creates a specific offence of domestic abuse where a person who engages in a pattern of abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex partner can be prosecuted.

The publication of the report coincides with an initiative by Dumfries and Galloway Public Protection Partnership and the Violence Against Women and Girls Group entitled ‘16 Days of Action Against Gender Based Violence’. The campaign is running until December 10 and aims to raise awareness and encourage action against all forms of violence that mainly affect women and girls. These include rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, childhood sexual abuse, sexual harassment, stalking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, sex trafficking, pornography, prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation.

The partnership has organised a series of events, including film and theatre screenings, talks and an exhibition as part of the campaign. They are also encouraging people to order a white ribbon – the awareness symbol for action against gender based violence – and to sign the White Ribbon Pledge.

For more information about 16 Days events or for details of organisations offering support visit www.dgppp.org.uk.

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