Thirteen per cent decrease in crimes recorded under Domestic Abuse Act 2018

Thirteen per cent decrease in crimes recorded under Domestic Abuse Act 2018

Humza Yousaf

There has been a drop in crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, according to Scotland’s chief statistician.

In figures released today that analyse the impact of the coronavirus lockdown, a 13 per cent drop in domestic abuse crimes was reported as compared with April 2019.

Recorded sexual crimes were 26 per cent lower overall, prompted mainly by a drop in offences of sexual assault (down by 46 per cent) and rape and attempted rape (down by 27 per cent), while non-sexual crimes of violence fell by 14 per cent.

A total of 17,171 crimes were reported in April, representing an 18 per cent reduction (or 3,823 fewer crimes) compared to the 20,994 crimes recorded in April 2019.

However, the statistics suggest an increase in some types of crime including fraud.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “While many types of crime have fallen in recent months, we know that some people have been using lockdown as a chance to commit offences, notably fraud – including targeting some of our most vulnerable citizens and exploiting businesses.

“We must remain vigilant to such criminals, and also to the risks of harm against those who may be living in fear of abuse and violence within their own homes. I would urge anyone who has experienced or witnessed crime to continue to report it.

“Some women and children may feel very isolated now, and need our help more than ever. My message to anyone experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence is absolutely clear: while you may feel vulnerable and unseen, you are not alone. Help from police and support services is still available round the clock.

“We know that criminals may also be using lockdown as a chance to exploit the vulnerable, especially those most at risk at home and in the care sector. This behaviour is absolutely abhorrent and we, along with the police, are determined to pursue those who set out to cause harm and misery to our communities.”

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