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Nearly 1700 offences recorded under new domestic abuse law

Published 1 April 2020

Nearly 1700 offences were recorded by Police Scotland in the first year of the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act.

As of 29 March 2020, 1669 domestic abuse offences had been recorded under the new law. Of those, 1569 offences were recorded where the victim was a woman. In 94 per cent of these cases the abuser was male. Of the remaining, 104 recorded crimes, the victim was a man.

ACC Duncan Sloan/DCS Sam McCluskey, lead for Major Crime and Public Protection/Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland, said:

“Recognising, within law, the full range of behaviours used by abusers to control, coerce, and instil fear in their victims, has been the single most significant step in our efforts to tackle domestic abuse in Scotland.

“More than 14,000 of our officers and staff have now been trained to recognise that domestic abuse isn’t always violent or physical. It is often psychological: disempowering and isolating victims and removing them from the support of family and friends, which can have the most devastating impact.

“As an organisation we are developing a workplace culture where there is no tolerance for domestic abuse and which recognises that the responsibility for domestic abuse lies solely with the perpetrator.

“Abusers should understand, we will respond to all reports of domestic abuse. We will delve into their histories, we will speak to previous partners, and we will use all of the powers at our disposal to ensure they face the full consequences of their behaviour.

“During this time of uncertainty, as we manage the challenges and dynamic circumstances presented by COVID-19, our response to domestic abuse remains unchanged. Our officers will continue to work to prevent harm by identifying people who may be at risk of domestic abuse.”

Introduced on 1 April 2019, the Act brought in a new domestic abuse offence which recognised that abuse was often a course of conduct, and that abusive behaviours included violent, physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse. The offence carries a maximum tariff of 14 years.

People are being asked to contact the police or partner agencies, if they, or anyone they know, is or may be at risk of domestic abuse. Please call 101, or 999 in an emergency. Or contact the domestic abuse and forced marriage helpline on 0800 027 1234, where support is available 24/7.


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