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Police launch north east ‘day of action’ to combat domestic abuse

Officers at Fraserburgh Police Station taking part in the Domestic Abuse Day of Action
Officers at Fraserburgh Police Station taking part in the Domestic Abuse Day of Action

A massive police crackdown on domestic violence across the north-east was launched yesterday.

Officers in Garioch, Moray, and Banff and Buchan surprised dozens of offenders at their homes and work places as part of Operation Sandside.

The aim of Police Scotland’s day of action was to target the perpetrators of domestic abuse and reassure victims they have the support of the authorities.

Leading a team from Fraserburgh police station, sergeant Bruce Crawford said: “The people who commit domestic abuse shouldn’t feel safe by the fact their crimes are often committed behind closed doors.

“If they have committed offences related to domestic abuse, it opens them up to being taken into police custody at any time.

“We won’t arrest them at a time that’s convenient for them, we’ll take all steps possible to come down and get them at their work if need be. They open themselves up to that kind of police enforcement.”

Officers worked closely with social workers throughout the day to reassure victims, and to encourage them to report domestic violence.

Shona Cormack, a domestic abuse outreach worker, said: “Part of our work is about practical things – housing, benefits and ensuring kids won’t be taken away.

“It’s about getting victims back on their feet and giving them confidence again.”

The operation stretched long into the night and the 25 investigating officers involved made several arrests on assault charges.

Sgt Crawford, who works in the alcohol and violence reduction unit, said: “Domestic abuse happens everywhere – it spans all social backgrounds, all ages and same sex relationships.

“Essentially no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. We go into socially deprived areas where there’s domestic abuse, we go into really wealthy areas where there’s domestic abuse.”

He added that the enforcement of bail restrictions was a vital part of yesterday’s operation, explaining that if victims of abuse feel let down by the police then they are less likely to come forward in future.

Last night Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt said: “We are living in an era in which equal rights and protection should be expected – an era in which domestic abuse is absolutely not tolerated. If you are involved in an abusive relationship, or if you believe that someone you know is being abused, please speak out.”

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