More than 1300 crimes recorded under new domestic abuse laws

Published 24 February 2020

More than 1,300 crimes under a new domestic abuse offence covering coercive and controlling behaviours have been recorded by Police Scotland.

Introduced on 1 April 2019, the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act criminalised the coercive and controlling behaviours used by domestic abusers, creating a single offence which covers the full range of abusive behaviours whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

The offence carries a maximum tariff of 14 years.

The Police Scotland 2019-20 Quarter 3 Performance Report, published today, revealed that in the period 1 April to 31 December 2019, 1,313 crimes were recorded under the legislation.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: “Our officers attend around 60,000 domestic abuse incidents every year – an average of one every nine minutes. “Domestic abuse has a devastating effect on individuals, on families and on children who are also often victims of these abusive behaviours.

“We are committed to bringing offenders to justice and continually improving how we respond to domestic abuse and work with a wide range of partners to provide support for victims and to improve our response.”

Since December 2018, 18,500 officers and staff have received online training on domestic abuse and the new offence, and 7,500 have received enhanced training in person. A further 6,500 will receive this face to face training in the coming months.

The report, which seeks to explain progress policing has made in meeting our strategic outcomes in an accessible way, also describes a strong increase in the use of cybermarkers following an internal campaign.

These allow officers and staff to identify crimes with a cyber element as we seek to better understand and quantify threat, risk and demand in the virtual space.

The report, which can be read here, will be presented at the Scottish Police Authority’s Policing Performance Committee on Thursday, 27 February, 2020.Police Scotland has also published management information covering Quarter 3 here.

The data, while not official statistics, relates mainly to crime recorded by Police Scotland.

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