MORE than 400 crimes have been recorded by police since the implementation of the new domestic abuse offence.

Introduced on April 1 this year, the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act criminalised the 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.

In the period April 1 to June 30, 2019, 414 crimes were recorded, 190 cases were reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and are being progressed, and 13 people were convicted.

Detective Superintendent Gordon McCreadie, national lead for domestic abuse, 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.

"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.”

Around 18,500 officers and 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.

Det Supt McCreadie added: “This significant investment in training helps our people recognise and understand the complex range of tactics used by perpetrators who seek to abuse their victims and evade justice.

“We will continue to work closely with partners on training and to monitor the effective application of the new legislation.”