Nearly 1,700 domestic abuse crimes reported under new law

Nearly 1,700 domestic abuse crimes reported under new law

Humza Yousaf

Nearly 1,700 crimes were reported under Scotland’s new domestic abuse laws in their first year in force, according to new figures.

Recorded crime figures for 2019/20 show that 1,681 crimes were recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which was enacted on 1 April 2019.

A further 107 new crimes were recorded towards the end of 2019-20 under the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulation 2020.

Overall, however, recorded crime was almost a quarter (24 per cent) lower last year compared to a decade ago, and at one of the lowest levels since 1974.

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.

“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.”

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