DOMESTIC abusers in Clackmannanshire have been lying about having coronavirus in an attempt to avoid police, it has been claimed.

Clackmannanshire Women’s Aid said women have reported this alarming tactic being used by abusive partners since the lockdown began on Monday, March 23.

A spokesperson for the organisation told the Advertiser: “[Women] have told us of perpetrators using Covid-19 as an excuse to avoid contact with the police, claiming they have symptoms, and also using it as a threat to officers.”

The claim has emerged at a time when incidents of domestic abuse are believed to be increasing across Scotland as more people are now confined to their homes.

Last month, the chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid said lockdown measures “may increase the opportunities for people, who are already abusing, to control and coerce women and children in their homes”.

And on April 29, Police Scotland revealed requests under their domestic abuse disclosure scheme increased by 18 per cent since March 23.

However, anecdotal evidence from Clackmannanshire Women’s Aid suggests that levels of domestic offending in the Wee County have remained close to pre-lockdown levels.

But a lack of opportunities to report incidents of abuse may be contributing to this.

The spokesperson said: “To our knowledge, the police locally have not seen an increase in domestic abuse call outs and our contact with them has remained at the usual level.

“In reality, it can be very difficult for women to call when they are confined within the home with their abuser and some women are telling us this – they are simply too afraid to report what is happening to them.”

However, Police Scotland has issued a stern message in recent weeks, making clear that domestic abuse remains a priority.

Furthermore, despite the claims that some perpetrators are lying about having coronavirus to avoid them, police are adamant that every single report of domestic abuse will be investigated.

Debbie Forrester, head of Police Scotland's domestic abuse taskforce, told the Advertiser: "Police will not tolerate domestic abuse, tackling it is a priority for us and that has not changed because of Covid-19.

"We want victims to be reassured that they are not alone. Those breaking the law will be dealt with appropriately to ensure the public is kept safe from risk and harm.

"We continue to treat reports of domestic abuse as a priority, and to respond to all domestic-abuse-related calls while taking the necessary steps, as appropriate, to ensure our officers are not put at risk."

Anyone affected by domestic abuse can report it by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Clackmannanshire Women's Aid can be reached on 01259 721407 or by emailing

Support can also be obtained through the 24/7 Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 027 1234.