Record number of calls from Scottish public to crime charity during lockdown
The last three months have seen record high numbers of calls in Scotland concerning domestic abuse, drug dealing and child harm or neglect, according to the charity Crimestoppers.
In response to the pandemic lockdown, the charity launched a series of publicity campaigns highlighting the increased risk of harm some people would experience, including domestic abuse, doorstep fraud, drug dealers targeting vulnerable people and endangered children.
Contacts about domestic abuse surged by more than 80 per cent while reports of doorstep crime increased by almost one third. Drug dealing reports increased by 40 per cent and the number of visits to the Crimestoppers website trebled in April.
The number of people calling to share concerns about possible child abuse or neglect also increased, with one anonymous person reporting a child who was neglected and constantly crying in pain.
Drug dealing has also continued throughout lockdown, with one property having several people living there and supplying heroin and cannabis to numerous visitors.
Angela Parker of Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “The past few months have been very challenging for people across Scotland.
“As a charity, we needed to raise awareness of the risks and harm the most vulnerable in communities would experience during lockdown. Often people know or suspect who’s responsible but for whatever reason, don’t want to speak to the police or get involved.
“We are so encouraged and grateful for the people who trusted our 100 per cnt anonymous guarantee and told us about those at risk. Thanks to the Scottish public, life for them is better and communities are safer.”
Community safety minister Ash Denham added: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring communities remain safe and resilient as we emerge from these unprecedented times.
“I would like to thank Crimestoppers and people who have stepped up in recent months to help keep people in Scotland safe.
“This has resulted in significant, actionable information about child harm and neglect, drugs and violent crimes from all over the country being passed to Police Scotland. This is a remarkable achievement and the courage, community spirit and kindness shown by those reporting is inspiring.”
Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie of Police Scotland said: “Crimestoppers is an integral partner in helping us offer a tangible and secure alternative for those who wish to remain anonymous in reporting crime and concern for others.
“We recognise how challenging recent times have been for people and I would like to take this opportunity to thank communities across Scotland for the crucial role they are playing in the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives.”