Reports to Crimestoppers hit record high during lockdown
Over the past three months, independent charity Crimestoppers has received a record number of reports from the public across Scotland on domestic abuse, drug dealing and child harm and neglect.
In response to lockdown across Scotland, the charity ran a series of public awareness campaigns to highlight the increased risk of harm and abuse some people would experience.
These included domestic abuse, doorstep crime and frauds, drug dealers targeting the vulnerable, and children at risk of harm and neglect.
Compared to previous months, contacts about those at risk of domestic abuse increased by 81 per cent and doorstep crime calls increased by 30 per cent. Drug dealing reports increased by 40 per cent and visits to the Crimestoppers’ website trebled in April 2020.
The charity also heard from concerned friends and neighbours about children at risk. One anonymous report highlighted a child being neglected and constantly crying in pain.
Drug dealers continued to operate despite lockdown measures. One property had several unknown people living there with many other visiting. The residents were supplying heroin and cannabis which had a harmful effect on neighbours and the local community.
Angela Parker, national manager for Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “The past few months have been very challenging for people across Scotland. As a charity, we needed to raise awareness of the risks and harm the most vulnerable in communities would experience during lockdown. Often people know or suspect who’s responsible but for whatever reason, don’t want to speak to the police or get involved. We are so encouraged and grateful for the people who trusted our 100 per cent anonymous guarantee and told us about those at risk. Thanks to the Scottish public, life for them is better and communities are safer.”
Ash Denham MSP, minister for community safety, said: “The Scottish government is committed to ensuring communities remain safe and resilient as we emerge from these unprecedented times. I would like to thank Crimestoppers and people who have stepped up in recent months to help keep people in Scotland safe.
“This has resulted in significant, actionable information about child harm and neglect, drugs and violent crimes from all over the country being passed to Police Scotland. This is a remarkable achievement and the courage, community spirit and kindness shown by those reporting is inspiring.”
Assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie of Police Scotland said: “Crimestoppers is an integral partner in helping us offer a tangible and secure alternative for those who wish to remain anonymous in reporting crime and concern for others.
“We recognise how challenging recent times have been for people and I would like to take this opportunity to thank communities across Scotland for the crucial role they are playing in the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives.”