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- Law and order
First annual figures for crimes under new domestic abuse laws.
Almost 1,700 crimes were reported under Scotland’s new Domestic Abuse laws in their first year in force, official figures show.
The crimes reported under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 – which enables police and prosecutors to better pursue abuse involving coercive and controlling behaviour - account for a rise in overall non-sexual violent crime in 2019-20. The other categories of non-sexual violent crime collectively fell by 5%.
The new crimes are included within the National Statistics on Recorded Crime for 2019-20 which showed there was almost no change in overall recorded crime compared to the previous year. Recorded crime was almost a quarter (24%) lower last year compared to a decade before – and was at one of the lowest levels since 1974.
Mr 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. Reports under these new laws, which reflect the reality of many domestic abuse victims, account for the rise in overall non-sexual violence recorded by police last year. We must learn from our success in reducing violence on our streets to help keep people safer in their homes, in particular those who are subjected to, or at risk of, domestic abuse.
“That requires not just a government response, but a commitment across families, friends, and colleagues to help tackle the attitudes and behaviours that allow any form of domestic abuse to persist.
“The Parliament will soon be considering our further legislative plans to give police and courts powers to remove domestic abusers from victims’ homes.
“That legislation, if passed by Parliament will lift the burden of action from those already suffering or at risk from abuse by giving greater powers to police to intervene where necessary, in turn giving victims vital breathing space to decide the best future option for them."
The full statistical publication is available on the Scottish Government website