Concern over abuse case handling

Image caption, Domestic abuse was described as "high risk" in policing terms

Half of Scotland's eight police forces should be ordered to improve the way they record domestic abuse cases, inspectors have found.

The Fife, Grampian, Northern and Central forces are failing to hit the 95% compliance target for such cases, said the inspectorate of constabulary.

It described domestic abuse as "high risk" because of the number of cases resulting in serious injury or death.

However, the standard of recording for all crimes exceeded the target.

But a report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), warned: "For those forces that fall below the 95% SCRS compliance level for domestic abuse, and particularly for those that fall well below this level, there is an urgent need to increase compliance."

According to the figures, which concern the way the crime is recorded, rather than a failure to record them, Central has the lowest compliance level for domestic abuse, with 83.7%, while Fife scored 90.4%.

Grampian and Northern each recorded a 91.4% rate.

Dumfries and Galloway, Lothian and Borders, Strathclyde and Tayside all met the national compliance standard.

The figures were not part of a full audit and the reasons for the variances take in factors such as over and under recording, incorrect categorisation and system errors.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland is considering whether a 95% target for all crime types is appropriate, in light of variations in risk between different offences.

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