Domestic abuse incidents in the north-east have risen by 10% in the last year, according to new police figures.
The number of cases reported in Aberdeen City rose to 2,773 in 2017-18 from 2,522 the previous year. And a similar percentage rise was recorded for Aberdeenshire (10.5%), which saw the 2016-17 figure of 1,463 increase to 1,616.
These figures were significantly worse than the rest of Scotland, which saw a total of 59,541 incidents of domestic abuse recorded in 2017-18 – an increase of 1%.
Around four out of every five incidents of domestic abuse had a female victim and a male accused, while the vast majority (88%) occurred in the home.
The percentage of incidents dealt with by officers which recorded at least one crime or offence fell to 44%, down from 47% in 2016-17.
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Elsewhere, Moray saw a slight decline in recorded incidents, which fell from 79 to 75. A rise from 57 to 62 was observed in the Western Isles.
Argyll and Bute saw a slight increase from 73 to 75, with the same trend in Orkney and Shetland where incidents rose from 47 to 49 and from 50 to 54 respectively.
Glasgow City Council saw 8,853 incidents in 2017-18, a fall from the 8,888 recorded the year before. Edinburgh witnessed a rise from 5,445 in 2016-17 to 5,722.
The Scottish Conservatives said the rise was the equivalent of an additional two domestic abuse cases per day and criticised Nicola Sturgeon’s plans, announced last year, to abolish prison sentences of less than 12 months.
Shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: “The SNP was well-warned that abolishing jail sentences of less than 12 months would result in domestic abusers being let off the hook.
“We can now see, over that time period, instances of domestic violence increased.”
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf described the statistics as “sobering” and added that society had to work to educate young people about “healthy, positive relationships” and challenge “those who minimise the impact of abuse or gender-based violence.”
New legislation next year will introduce a new offence criminalising coercive and controlling behaviour that can constitute domestic abuse.
The Justice Secretary added: “Police Scotland is delivering consistent, robust enforcement across the country which, alongside their disclosure scheme and the new laws, will help ensure there is no hiding place those who think they can continue to abuse partners ‘behind closed doors’.”