Scottish Borders domestic abuse incidents continue to grow
Domestic abuse incidents rose by more than ten per cent last year. But the number of cases which led to court convictions remained almost static. The figures were released to the recent Police, Fire, Rescue and Safer Communities Board, which meets every couple of months at Scottish Borders Council. In 2016 there were 743 reports of domestic abuse in the Borders, which includes all aspects of sexual crimes, however, last year this figure had risen to 823. The number of cases which resulted in a criminal report being tabled went from only 48 to 49 during the same period.
Research by the Scottish Conservatives has found that the number of special constables in Scotland has more than halved since 2013. The figures, from a freedom of information request by Maurice Corry MSP, show that since 2013, over 750 officers have been lost, with numbers down from 1387 in 2013 to 610 in 2018. This appears to be the result of a failure to recruit new special constables which have also been falling dramatically from 251 in 2013 to only 85 in 2017. At a local level, the response shows that there are only 23 officers in Renfrewshire & Inverclyde (K Division), while the whole of Lanarkshire (Q Division) has only 27. These two areas had 63 and 126 specials respectively in 2013.
Sex offences on British railways has doubled in five years
The number of reported sexual offences on British railways, including the Tube, has doubled in five years. Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed there were 2,382 such crimes reported on trains and at stations last year – up from 1,049 in 2013. The numbers released by British Transport Police revealed the youngest victims were aged just six. This was the case in two instances – one in 2014 and one in 2015 – and arrests were made for both crimes. A total of 1,307 offences were recorded by police in 2014 and 1,795 in 2015.
Rape victims could be arrested if they refuse to face court
Rape victims could face the threat of arrest if they walk away from the ordeal of a court trial under a new approach by prosecutors, campaigners have warned. There are now fears that many victims will “falsely retract” their statements to police, with Rape Crisis Scotland warning the move will cause “further harm to survivors”. The Crown Office in Scotland insists that new guidance for dealing with “reluctant complainers” ensures all the circumstances will be examined before any decision is made on potential arrest warrants. The justice system in Scotland has come under fire over the low rate of rape convictions and low number of cases coming to court.