Scotland’s ‘national shame’: Damning data exposes ‘horrendous’ abuse – Sturgeon under fire


A SCOTTISH conservative MSP has described the latest rise in domestic abuse cases as a “national shame”.

He also accused the SNP of letting down “thousands of domestic abuse victims” on account of its “soft-touch justice attitude”. New data show that Scottish police recorded 62,907 incidents of domestic abuse in 2019-20. This represents an increase of four percent compared to the previous year and is also the fourth consecutive year that cases have risen.

Common assault was the most frequent form of abuse reported, accounting for 34 percent of all crimes and offences.

Commenting on the figures, Jamie Greene accused the SNP of being soft on crime.

The Scottish Conservative Shadow Justice Secretary said: “It is a source of national shame that domestic abuses cases are rising year-on-year in Scotland.

“Incidents have now reached a 20-year high and perpetrators must be properly punished if we are to send a clear message that this is not on.

“The SNP Government were warned repeatedly that their effective scrapping of prison sentences of less than a year could result in offenders escaping custody, despite the despicable nature of their crimes.

“One criminal avoiding jail for domestic abuse that would have been sent to jail previously is one too many in our eyes.”

He added: “The SNP’s soft-touch justice attitude is letting thousands of domestic abuse victims down every single year and that must stop.”

Mr Greene called on the Nicola Sturgeon to back his party’s Victims Bill, which would increase capital funding for Police Scotland and a new Local Policing Act to deliver more localised policing.

The Bill also incorporates Michelle’s Law, named after Michelle Stewart, 17, from Drongan, Ayrshire, who was murdered in 2008.

This would overhaul prison and parole rules to safeguard victims and their families by giving them a greater say over release arrangements which would be opened to public scrutiny.

Keith Brown, cabinet secretary for justice, conceded that the figures were a stark reminder of the “unacceptable levels of domestic abuse” in Scotland.

However, he pointed out that the Scottish government had provided “more than £5.75 million in additional funding for frontline services supporting women and children experiencing, or at risk of, violence or abuse, to help respond to an increase in demand during the pandemic.”

The minister urged domestic abuse victims to come forward and report crimes committed against them and to seek support.