A scheme has been launched in the north-east to tackle a notorious “spike” in domestic abuse cases at Christmas.
Police in Aberdeen have joined forces with numerous organisations in the city to clamp down on the drastic increase in such crimes across Scotland over the festive period.
Along with Aberdeen City Council, Drugs Action, Grampian Women’s Aid, the Crown Office and the Aberdeen Cyrenians, officers will offer tailored assistance to those in need.
The new partnership follows the launch of the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland last year – also known as Clare’s Law – which allows men and women to find out if someone they are in a relationship with, or are considering entering into a relationship with, has a history of violence or abuse.
Adrian Watson, commander for the Aberdeen City division, said: “When you look at the statistics, it tends to spike at the festive period when families come together and seem to be enjoying themselves.
“But we understand that behind closed doors, these problems that have been there all year, they don’t go away for Christmas.
“This is one area where I am more than happy to see crime rise, as it is very often hidden below the stones, and once you lift that stone you see patterns of offending which are extremely harmful.
“Domestic abuse is one of our key priority areas. We see it as a mark of confidence when people come forward, so we would encourage people to take on that brave step, through friends, intermediaries, other agencies, or by calling 101.”
As well as helping victims, the partnership will also push proactive measures to combat the surge, and will assist perpetrators with drug or alcohol issues.
Simon Pringle, service manager at Drug Action, said: “I must make it clear that there is no excuse for domestic abuse, but sometimes alcohol and drugs can exacerbate that.
“We’re as keen as possible to see a reduction in domestic abuse, so we’re keen to find out how we can get in at the earliest opportunity and provide support.
“If that’s to the perpetrator, maybe someone who wants to change their behaviour, we would happily look into that.”