A CAMPAIGNING MSP is calling on the Scottish Government to take a tougher approach against domestic abusers.

Figures from a Scottish Government report released last week show that there were nearly 63,000 domestic abuse incidents in Scotland recorded by police in 2019-20, as cases rose for a fourth year.

Jamie Greene, who represents West Dunbartonshire as part of his remit as a Conservative regional MSP for West Scotland, believes the continued rise demonstrates that tougher punishments for domestic abusers are needed.

Mr Greene, who is the Scottish Conservatives’ justice spokesperson, said: “These figures show that the SNP have completely failed to tackle rising domestic abuse cases despite warnings from all quarters.

“It is clear that the SNP’s soft-touch justice approach is not working with domestic abuse incidents having reached yet another record, shameful high.

“Those guilty of domestic abuse are simply not being properly punished.

“We continually warned SNP ministers that their effective scrapping of prison sentences of less than a year would do nothing to clamp down on these sort of crimes.

“Our hardworking officers on the frontline have also clearly not been given the resources they need to fully tackle these incidents by the SNP government.”

However, the Scottish Government study suggested an awareness campaign around new domestic abuse legislation may have increased reporting.

The study found a total of 82 per cent of the domestic abuse incidents recorded had a male perpetrator and a female victim, 15 per cent had a female perpetrator and male victim, while in three per cent of cases, both were of the same gender.

Those in the 26 to 30 age group had the highest rate of victims in the population.

Responding to the report, the Justice Secretary Keith Brown, said: “These statistics are a stark reminder of the unacceptable levels of domestic abuse that occur in Scotland.

“A person’s home should be a place of safety and we know that is not always the case and that women are disproportionately victims of domestic abuse.

“The new offence of domestic abuse has been heralded as gold-standard legislation in strengthening the law against those who undertake a course of abusive behaviour, including both physical and psychological abuse, and we have been clear that we want to see all incidents of domestic abuse reported.”