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Rise in domestic abuse scheme requests 

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By Charlotte MacKay
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Rise in domestic abuse scheme requests 

AS Police Scotland revealed that requests to its domestic abuse disclosure scheme have increased since lockdown began, one officer is urging anyone within concerns in Dumfries and Galloway to get in touch.

Detective superintendent Kenny Armstrong said: “Lockdown has undoubtedly increased the risk of domestic abuse as people comply with the guidance to stay at home. However, home isn’t necessarily a safe place for everyone.

“We know that isolation is a tactic perpetrators use to restrict their victims’ opportunities for help from family and friends though websites and social media.

“It is really important that communities across Dumfries and Galloway know we are here to help and that we will still treat reports of domestic abuse as a priority.”

The disclosure scheme was rolled out in 2015 and allows people to request background information on their partner, potential partner or someone who is in a relationship with someone they know if there is a concern that the individual may be abusive.

Most requests are made by police officers and other professionals, including social workers and NHS staff, if they feel someone may be at risk of domestic abuse.

In the 12 months to March 31 this year, Police Scotland received 2648 requests for disclosure – a 66 per cent increase on the same period in 2018/19.

During that time more than 1200 disclosures were made.

Assistant chief constable Duncan Sloan said: “Domestic abuse is everyone’s business.

“Offenders seek to frighten, humiliate and isolate victims from those who can offer them support.

“Police Scotland will not tolerate domestic abuse, tackling it and preventing it is a priority for us and that has not changed because of Covid-19.

“If you, or anyone you know, are being abused or are at risk of abuse, please contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“Or if you need support please contact Scotland’s domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234 where support is available 24/7.”

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