New domestic abuse laws in Scotland: More than 400 crimes recorded

More than 400 crimes have been recorded by Police Scotland in the first three months after a new domestic abuse law was introduced. The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act criminalises the "coercive and controlling behaviours" of offenders. It created a single offence, carrying a maximum 14-year sentence, covering psychological, financial or sexual abuse. So far, 190 cases have been reported to the Crown Office with 13 convictions.

Det Supt McCreadie, national lead for domestic abuse, said the figures showed the legislation was being used well since its introduction in April. He 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. "

He added: "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." Since December 2018, 18,500 officers and police 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.

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