Police Scotland recently revealed that requests to its domestic abuse disclosure scheme have increased since lockdown began.

Detective Superintendent Kenny Armstrong is urging anyone with concerns across Ayrshire to get in touch.

He said: “Lockdown has undoubtedly increased the risk of domestic abuse as people comply with the guidance to stay at home.

“However, home isn't necessarily a safe place for everyone.

“It is really important that communities across Ayrshire know we are here to help and that we will still treat reports of domestic abuse as a priority.

“The disclosure scheme is rooted in Ayrshire where it was successfully piloted in 2014.

“It has developed and matured since that pilot and has been allowing people across the country to make informed decisions following their request for disclosure about a partner.”

Many requests are being made by police officers and other professionals (including social work and NHS) raising a concern about someone they think may be at risk of domestic abuse.

Police Scotland will then decide about whether to make a disclosure in the interests of safeguarding a person.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2020, Police Scotland received 2,648 requests for disclosure, a 66 per cent increase on the same period 2018/19 (1,596 applications).

In the same period, more than 1200 disclosures were made to people indicating that their partner had an abusive past. This represents a 40 per cent increase on the same period the previous year (865 disclosures).

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan Sloan said: "Domestic abuse is everyone’s business.

“Offenders seek to frighten, humiliate and isolate victims from those who can offer them support.

“Police Scotland will not tolerate domestic abuse, tackling it and preventing it is a priority for us and that has not changed because of COVID 19."

If you, or anyone you know, are being abused or are at risk of abuse, please contact Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Or if you need support please contact Scotland's domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234, where support is available 24/7.


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