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Statistical Bulletin Crime and Justice Series: Domestic Abuse Recorded by the Police in Scotland 2008-09

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2. Main points

  • There were 53,681 incidents of domestic abuse recorded in 2008-09, compared to the 49,655 incidents recorded in 2007-08. This equates to an 8 per cent increase on 2007-08. This continues the steady increase in incidents reported since 2000-01, the first year covered by this particular bulletin. Slightly more than half of the incidents recorded in 2008-09 (29,283) led to the recording of a crime or offence (see Table 1 and Table 1a).
  • The most common crime or offence recorded in 2008-09 remained the offence of minor assault, at 23 per cent (12,518) of all incidents. Breach of the peace was the second most common accounting for 18 per cent (9,650) of incidents resulting in a crime or offence being recorded (see Table 1).
  • The overall incidence of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland in 2008-09 was 1,039 per 100,000 population (see Table 2). This compared to 965 per 100,000 population in 2007-08 (see Table 15a).
  • Incidents with a female victim and male perpetrator represented 84 per cent (44,748) of all incidents of domestic abuse where this information was recorded, down by just over 1 percentage point from 2007-08. This percentage has gradually decreased since 2000-01. (See Table 4 and Table 4a).
  • For incidents where information regarding repeat victimisation of domestic abuse 61 per cent (33,842) of the victims had previously experienced domestic abuse, compared to 54 per cent (21,946) in 2007-08 (see Table 5 and Table 5a).
  • When looking at the incidence per 100,000 population, females are at most risk of being victims of domestic abuse when aged between 22 and 25 years old and males when aged between 26 and 30 years old (see Table 7).
  • Incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police involving co-habitees or partners accounted for 44 per cent of all cases, with more cases recorded relating to co-habitees (23 per cent) than to partners (21 per cent). Incidents involving spouses accounted for a further 16 per cent (see Table 10 and Table 10a).
  • Since 2000-01, the percentage of incidents involving spouses, co-habitees and partners has decreased from 60 per cent to 59 per cent. This has been driven by a decrease in the percentage of incidents involving spouses over this period, from 25 per cent in 2000-01 to 16 per cent in 2008-09 (see Tables 10 and Table 10a).
  • In 40 per cent of cases the victim and perpetrator were ex-partners or ex-spouses, this has been steadily increasing from 30 per cent in 2000-01 (see Tables 10 and Table 10a).
  • Incidents of domestic abuse where the action taken by the police was 'referral to the procurator fiscal' went up 3 percentage points to 35 per cent (18,691) in 2008-09. This is the largest rise since a 5 per cent increase from 27 per cent of cases in 2003-04, to 32 per cent of cases in 2004-05 (see Table 1a).