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New domestic abuse offence: 13 convicted and over 400 crimes recorded

More than 400 crimes have been recorded by Police Scotland in the first three months following implementation of the new domestic abuse offence covering coercive and controlling behaviours.

The new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act came into force in April this year. The Act criminalises 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.

According to official data from Police Scotland, in the period 1 April to 30 June 2019: 414 crimes were recorded; 190 cases were reported to Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS); and 13 people were convicted.

Kate Wallace, CEO of Victim Support Scotland, said, “Domestic abuse can have a devastating, long-lasting impact on the lives of individuals and their children. The safety and protection of victims is a critical component of an effective justice system. These figures clearly demonstrate that there is greater awareness of the non-physical aspects of domestic abuse and coercive control. This shows increased recognition of the damage caused to victims, enabling legal redress, as well as strengthening the criminal justice response to domestic abuse.”

Victim Support Scotland is here for anyone affected by crime – whoever you are, whatever the crime. Call our free helpline on 0800 160 1985 (8am-8pm, Mon-Fri) to speak to our friendly support team.

Photo credit: ‘A thousand words’ commissioned by Scottish Women’s Aid and Zero Tolerance. Copyright Laura Dodsworth


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