Hundreds comes forward in Tayside and Fife to report ‘psychological’ domestic abuse law change
Local police have received more than 200 reports of coercive control since new laws came into force at the start of April. The new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 makes it an offence to use psychological techniques, such as such as deliberately isolating a partner, controlling their finances and continually checking on their whereabouts, to control a person’s behaviour. Senior police officers in Tayside said the new measures had led to an increase in domestic abuse reports across the region. A total of 208 women and 11 men have come forward in Tayside and Fife in the last 10 months.
Concerns raised over policing in Peebles
A spate of ‘hooliganism’ in Peebles has led to serious doubts over police presence in the town from the Community Action Teams. The local authority-funded force costs the public £550,000 each year. Although the patrols were launched by Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland to tackle anti-social behaviour and drug-related crimes, retired senior police officer Les Turnbull heavily criticised their effectiveness on his hometown. The Chairman of Peebles Community Council, Les Turnbull was reacting to reports of five weekends of anti-social problems.
Thousands of rape victims left without vital help as services in Scotland are so stretched
More than 1000 victims of rape and sex assault are denied vital support in a typical day in Scotland because services are so stretched. The snapshot of figures from Rape Crisis Scotland showed 1035 survivors of sexual violence on a waiting list for specialist support, up from 582 last year. The average delay was at least five months and many wait up to a year for help. Rape Crisis Scotland’s chief executive, Sandy Brindley, said: “Sexual violence is traumatic and too often, after making the incredibly difficult decision to ask for help, survivors are told they must wait.
Police reveal £25m of drugs seized in Scotland in three months
Three and a half tonnes of drugs worth £25million have been seized by police in the past three months. Millions of pounds in laundered cash was recovered and 77 people were arrested in a focus on disrupting serious organised crime. The figures, published by the Scottish Police Authority yesterday, also reveal that in July four people from Glasgow were sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison after being found guilty of being involved in serious organised crime.
Police Scotland needs ‘substantial above-inflation increase in funding’ to maintain police stations, cars and IT
A “substantial above-inflation increase in funding” for the police estate is “sorely needed”, a Holyrood Committee has concluded. A pre-budget report from MSPs on the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing looking at police capital spending – funding for equipment and premises – found it was insufficient to allow officers to operate efficiently. The shortfall affects Police Scotland’s ability to maintain police stations and replace or upgrade other equipment such as cars and IT systems. Police Scotland has one of the lowest capital spends per employee among police forces across the UK.
Scottish Police watchdog found that Taser use was justified
The use of Tasers by police officers has been “justified and proportionate” in the majority of cases and has helped save lives, a watchdog has found. The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) assessed the use of the devices in its 2018-19 annual report after human rights groups raised concerns about the potential for them to be misused or overused. Police Scotland announced plans to train and equip more officers with Tasers in December 2017. It trained and equipped around 500 so-called specially trained officers (STOs), who were then routinely armed with the devices from June 2018 onwards.
MSPs urge SNP to invest more in Police Scotland with current levels deemed ‘insufficient’
MSPs have urged the Scottish Government to invest more in police capital spending, including on police stations and vehicles. A report, published by Holyrood’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, claims the current spending level is insufficient. Members called for a “substantial above inflation increase” in funding, due to risks to the health and safety of officers, staff and those in custody. The report also called into question the reduction of police numbers by 750 in a bid to save money.
Police and Glasgow Caledonian University to tackle gender-based violence myths
Police Scotland has partnered with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to #EraseTheGrey and tackle the myths about gender based violence. In the last six years 56 people have been murdered as a result of domestic abuse, an average of nine people every year. Of those killed almost three quarters of the victims were female and in 82 per cent of the cases the perpetrator was male. This year to mark 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, Police Scotland has joined with GCU to roll out the University’s #EraseTheGrey campaign across Scotland.
Criminals’ fines will be used for Scottish victim support fund
Anyone convicted of a crime in Scotland and who is fined by the courts will have to pay a surcharge on their fine to pay for a new victim support fund. The new financial penalty will be imposed on all criminals who are sentenced to pay a court fine for offences committed from today onwards. The money raised will be banked in the Victim Surcharge Fund. Victim support organisations will be able to apply to the fund to cover the costs of providing short-term and practical support such as new windows and locks for the victims of housebreaking victims, or funeral expenses for families of murder victims.