Increased awareness is a key reason why the number of domestic abuse cases recorded in Shetland has nearly tripled compared to last year, the isles’ community safety and resilience board has been told.
Figures presented to members of the board last week showed 56 instances of domestic abuse reported between April and September this year compared to 20 in the same period in 2018.
Police chief inspector Lindsay Tulloch described it as “reassuring” that more domestic abuse cases were being reported and brought to the attention of officers.
He also noted that while the figures have sharply increased, it does not mean to say that domestic abuse has generally increased at the same rate, because many cases could relate to abuse carried out in the past.
“There might be historical offences,” Tulloch said.
The police chief added that an important focus is getting to the bottom of the source of offending and “understand how these issues manifest in the first place”.
South mainland councillor Allison Duncan said the numbers were a “substantial increase”, and he questioned why the figures had risen so much.
NHS Shetland consultant in public health medicine Susan Laidlaw, who is involved with the Shetland Domestic Abuse Partnership, said there was a variety of reasons but she noted “there’s been a lot more awareness raising” recently.