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DA charges in Scotland at five-year high

Criminal charges related to domestic abuse have hit a five-year high of 33,425 in 2020/21 in Scotland, an 8.8% increase on the previous year. The figures include attempted rape and serious assault.

On the coronavirus effect, reported cases were relatively low in March 2020 when the first lockdown was announced but steadily rose in April and May and peaked in July with more than 3,300, according to the prosecution service.

Men accounted for 87% of the accused at 29,975. The charges included two homicides, 573 attempted murder or serious assault charges, and 620 of rape or attempted rape.

Matters proceeded to court in 92% of the reported cases, the same as the previous year.

In response, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain said: “All staff at the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have worked hard to protect victims during this time by continuing to prepare cases and prosecute offenders where possible …

“We have been working with partners across the criminal justice system to respond to the challenges and we will continue to do so, with a focus on ensuring cases progress as efficiently as possible during the pandemic recovery.”

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