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Almost 1,700 domestic abuse crimes recorded in first year of new act

Holyrood

Almost 1,700 domestic abuse crimes recorded in first year of new act

Almost 1,700 crimes were recorded under the Domestic Abuse Act in its first year of operation, new statistics show.

The act, which came into force in April 2019, expanded the definition of domestic abuse to cover a range of psychological and emotional abuse, including coercive control.

The recording of these crimes has led to a 16 per cent increase in non-sexual crimes of violence (from 8,008 to 9,316) for 2019-20. Other crimes in this category dropped by five per cent.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I am pleased that victims of domestic abuse have confidence in the collective actions of Scotland’s police and wider justice and third sector partners, to come forward and report these cases.”

Further legislation to protect victims of domestic abuse is forthcoming, which will allow the police and courts to remove abusers from the victims’ home.

These latest crime statistics also revealed 107 new crimes were recorded under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulation 2020.

However, the statistics only cover until the end of March and it is expected such crimes will have a “more significant impact” on the 2020-21 figures.

Overall, the level of record crime remained broadly similar to the previous year, with an increase of one per cent from 246,480 to 246,516. This is down 24 per cent since 2010-11.

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