Police crackdown on domestic abuse over Christmas

Superintendent Liz McAinsh says the force is 'committed' to tackling domestic abuse. Picture: Greg Macvean
Superintendent Liz McAinsh says the force is 'committed' to tackling domestic abuse. Picture: Greg Macvean
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DOMESTIC abusers will be targeted in a Christmas crackdown as it emerged police deal with around 15 cases a day in Edinburgh.

Officers have launched a nine-day blitz to ensure bailed perpetrators stick to court imposed restrictions on their movements – like those banned from approaching their partners – or face on-the-spot arrests.

It is the second time mass arrests – often used against drug dealers and football hooligans – will be used against domestic abusers in the city.

The festive season can see a spike in reports for domestic abuse with money pressures, increased alcohol consumption and time spent with relatives fuelling violent crime at home.

Domestic incidents accounts for half of all police call-outs in the Capital over Christmas and New Year.

Police social media feeds will carry updates on the number of reports of abuse received across the Lothians as well as safety advice for victims.

Superintendent Liz McAinsh said the force was “committed” to tackling domestic abuse and more officers were being deployed to combat the problem.

She said: “We see a rise in reported incidents at this time, many that are fuelled by too much alcohol, so in addition to carrying out enforcement activity we are working with social work and health colleagues to ensure assistance is provided to partners and families.

“Our message is that we will not tolerate domestic abuse or violence in any form and will continue to lock up those responsible and bring them to justice. I would ask people to help by reporting concerns they see and hear to us.”

Police Scotland has made the tackling of domestic abuse a key priority since its inception last April with the number of common assaults linked to domestic abuse rising by 78 per cent on last year.

Last year, the News reported how a series of dawn raids were carried out where 30 suspects – the majority men – were targeted by the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit.

Today, letters will be sent to offenders subject to a live warrant for domestic abuse asking them to immediately contact police. Officers will seek to identify and arrest anyone who fails to settle the terms of their warrant.

On average, police attend a domestic incident every nine minutes in Scotland in what has been labelled the country’s “national shame”.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, convener of health, social care and housing, which is working with police, described the 5500 reported cases in Edinburgh each year as “shocking.”

“We want to reach out to those affected by domestic abuse” he said. “I would urge people to drink sensibly and to consider how their behaviour affects their loved ones.”

kate.pickles@edinburghnews.com