Report: Domestic Abuse Recorded By Police In Scotland 2018 – 2019

This bulletin presents statistics on domestic abuse, based on details of incidents and recorded crime supplied by Police Scotland in 2018-19. Incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police do not reveal all incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland as not all incidents are reported to the police. The figures are used to inform policy and, in conjunction with the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey, are used to assess the extent and nature of domestic abuse in Scotland.

The definition of domestic abuse used by Police Scotland is:

‘Any form of physical, verbal, sexual, psychological or financial abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship. The relationship will be between partners (married, cohabiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse can be committed in the home or elsewhere including online’.

Key Points

  • Levels of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland have remained relatively stable since 2011-12, with around 58,000 to 61,000 incidents a year. The police recorded 60,641 incidents of domestic abuse in 2018-19, an increase of 2% compared to the previous year.
  • In 2018-19, 41% of incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland included the recording of at least one crime or offence.
  • The type of crime or offence that was most frequently recorded as part of a domestic abuse incident in 2018-19 was Common assault (accounting for 36% of all crimes and offences recorded). This was followed by Breach of the peace etc. accounting for 29% of crimes and offences.
  • There were 112 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland per 10,000 population in 2018-19. At a local authority level, Dundee City (157), West Dunbartonshire (148) and Glasgow City (147) recorded the highest incident rates per 10,000 population. The Shetland Islands (52) and East Renfrewshire (54) recorded the lowest rates per 10,000 population.
  • Where gender information was recorded, around four out of every five incidents of domestic abuse in 2018-19 had a female victim and a male accused. This proportion has remained very stable since 2011-12.
  • In 2018-19, 16% of domestic abuse incidents involved a male victim and a female accused (where gender was recorded). Again, this proportion has remained stable since 2011-12 (ranging from 16% to 18%).
  • In 2018-19, the 26-30 years old age group had the highest incident rate for victims (263 incidents recorded per 10,000 population). The 31-35 years old age group had the highest incident rate for the accused (246 incidents recorded per 10,000 population).
  • Recorded incidents of domestic abuse were higher on a Saturday or Sunday than on any other day of the week (with these two days together accounting for 35% of incidents in 2018-19).
  • In 2018-19, 88% of all domestic abuse incidents occurred in a home or dwelling.

To view the background to this research click here and to download the report click here.

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