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Domestic Abuse Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2009-10

16/11/2010

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Domestic Abuse Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2009-10. The publication presents key statistics on the number of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by police forces in Scotland.

The main findings are:

  • There were 51,926 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland in 2009-10, compared to the 53,931 incidents recorded in 2008-09. This equates to a 4 per cent decrease in the number of incidents recorded in 2009-10 as compared to 2008-09.
  • 62 per cent of the incidents recorded by the police in 2009-10 (32,066) led to a recording of a crime or offence; this was up from 55 per cent (29,526) of incidents in 2008-09.
  • Where a crime or offence was recorded in 2009-10, the most common was minor assault, accounting for 43 per cent (13,740). The second most common crime or offence was breach of the peace at 33 per cent (10,489) of all incidents where a crime of offence was recorded.
  • The overall incidence of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland in 2009-10 was 1,000 per 100,000 population: this compared to 1,043 per 100,000 population in 2008-09.
  • For incidents where information was available, 57 per cent of incidents (25,602) in 2009-10 involved victims who had previously been recorded as a victim of domestic abuse. This compared to 61 per cent (30,595) in 2008-09.
  • When looking at the incidence per 100,000 population in 2009-10, females are at most risk of being victims of domestic abuse when aged between 22 and 25 years old and males when aged between 31 and 35 years old.
  • Incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in 2009-10 involving co-habitees or partners accounted for 44 per cent of all cases (22,496, (each at 22 per cent (11,117 and 11,379, respectively)) where relationship was recorded. Incidents involving spouses accounted for a further 15 per cent (7,632).
  • In 41 per cent of cases (20,953) in 2009-10 where relationship details were recorded, the victim and perpetrator were ex-partners or ex-spouses. This has been steadily increasing from 30 per cent (10,509) in 2000-01.
  • The overwhelming majority of incidents of domestic abuse took place in the home/house (89 per cent (45,532) of all incidents where the location was recorded). This was more likely if the victim and perpetrator cohabited i.e. were a `spouse' or `co-habitee' (94 per cent (17,537) of all incidents where location was recorded).

Statistical data is now reported on a financial year timescale rather than an annual year. Data from April 2000 to date is available in the Bulletin, with data for 1999-00 available on request.

Collecting statistics on domestic abuse (previously referred to as domestic violence) was recommended in the Report of HM Inspectorate of Constabulary - Hitting Home - A Report on the Police Response to Domestic Violence 1997.

The recommendations from this Report were progressed through the Domestic Violence Working Group of the Scottish Criminal Statistics Committee, involving Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) representatives which agreed on the following definition:

'Domestic abuse is any form of physical, non-physical, or sexual abuse which takes place within the context of a close relationship, committed either in the home or elsewhere. This relationship will be between partners (married, co-habiting or otherwise) or ex-partners.'

The statistical return from which the figures in the statistical bulletin are taken is a simple count of the numbers of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police using the definition of domestic abuse as shown above.

The detailed classification of crimes and offences used by the Scottish Government to collect criminal statistics contains about 360 codes:

'Minor assault' as defined by the Scottish Government is any assault which does not fall into the following definition of Serious Assault:

'An assault in which the victim sustained an injury resulting in detention in hospital as an in-patient or any of the following injuries whether or not detained in hospital: fractures, severe concussion, internal injuries, loss of consciousness, lacerations requiring sutures which may lead to impairment or disfigurement, or any other injury which may lead to impairment or disfigurement.'