Hundreds of crimes reported under new domestic abuse laws

17 August 2019, 06:53 | Updated: 17 August 2019, 07:00

domestic abuse

More than 400 crimes have been recorded and 13 people convicted since the introduction of new domestic abuse laws in Scotland.

The legislation - introduced in April - criminalised coercive and controlling behaviours used by abusers, with a maximum tariff of 14 years.

It created a single offence covering the full range of actions, whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

A total of 414 crimes were recorded, 190 cases were reported to prosecutors, and 13 people were convicted between April and June, according to Police Scotland.

Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie, national lead for domestic abuse, said: "The new offence requires police to evidence a pattern of abusive behaviours, in other words, two or more offences which form a course of conduct against the victim.

"The number of offences recorded and people reported demonstrates the need for this new legislation and that our officers are utilising it to good effect.

"The new law covers behaviours which have always been considered abusive but which were difficult to tackle using previous laws.

"Police Scotland is now able to tackle the full range of abusive behaviours used by perpetrators to protect those they seek to abuse."

The force has given 18,500 officers and staff online training on domestic abuse and the new offence since December 2018.

Mr McCreadie said: "This significant investment in training helps our people recognise and understand the complex range of tactics used by perpetrators who seek to abuse their victims and evade justice.

"We will continue to work closely with partners on training and to monitor the effective application of the new legislation."