Police in the Highlands and Islands are warning domestic abuse offenders that there is no hiding place as they carry out a range of activities during their annual festive campaign.

Over the festive period, Officers from the Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit will be supporting local policing resources to target those responsible for violence, intimidation, harassment and bullying against partners, ex-partners and their family members.

Visits will be conducted to those currently with bail restrictions for domestic abuse offences to ensure they are complying with their conditions. Enforcement activity will take place over the festive season and those found to be responsible for crimes of this nature will be dealt with robustly.

Detective Inspector Caroline MacKay from N Division’s Public Protection Unit said: “Police Scotland and our partners are focussed on tackling domestic abuse all year round, and the festive period is a particularly significant period where domestic incidents are likely to increase. We want to remind people that help and support is always available if you need it, 24 hours a day.”

“We would encourage everyone to report incidents of domestic abuse, however we also understand that leaving an abusive relationship can be an enormous step so both Police Scotland and partners wish to emphasise that we are also here to support and assist you whether you wish to remain in an abusive relationship or not.”

“Advice and support can be offered to you with regards to home and personal security, to assisting you to a place of safety and any further concerns you may have. In the event of an emergency, please call the Police on 999 (if the incident is ongoing or life is in danger) for all other enquiries please dial 101. I would like to reassure all victims of domestic abuse that any report made to the police will be investigated with the utmost professionalism and sensitivity.”

“I also wish to highlight The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland which offers everyone a formal method to make enquiries about individuals to establish whether they have a history of domestic abuse/violence. This disclosure scheme is available to both members of the public who are concerned about the domestic circumstances of a family member/friend/acquaintance etc. as well as being available to anyone who is currently in a relationship and who has concerns about their partner’s past. This scheme allows for individuals to make an informed decision on whether or not to continue their relationship.”

“Police Scotland along with partner agencies will provide support and advice to anyone going through the disclosure process. Full details of the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland and access to the scheme is available on the Police Scotland Website. Alternatively, members of the public can attend at their local Police Station to enquire into the scheme should they have concerns about an individual."

Heather Williams, Manager of Ross-shire Women's Aid said:

“For many women, children and young people across the Highlands their homes are not the safe place they should be. The impact of domestic abuse to the individuals who experience it, to children and young people who live with it and to society is a high one.

“We welcome the focus placed on domestic abuse by Police Scotland and their continued commitment to ensuring those who perpetrate it are held to account for their actions.”

“If you feel frightened of your partner or ex-partner, are unable to do the things you would like to because of your partner or ex-partner, feel like you are constantly walking in egg shells then help and support is available to you."

http://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/advice-for-victims-of-crime/domestic-abuse/