Domestic abuse incidents in Scotland reach 63,000 in a year

The Scottish Government said an awareness campaign around new legislation may have increased the reporting of incidents.

Domestic abuse incidents in Scotland reach 63,000 in a year PA Wire

There were nearly 63,000 domestic abuse incidents recorded by police in Scotland between 2019-20 as cases rose for a fourth year.

A total of 62,907 incidents were recorded, an increase of four per cent from the previous year.

However, an awareness campaign around new domestic abuse legislation may have increased reporting, a Scottish Government study released on Tuesday says.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 came into force on April 1, 2019, criminalising coercive and controlling behaviour against partners.

The most frequent type of incident recorded was common assault, followed by breach of the peace.

A total of 82% of the domestic abuse incidents recorded had a male perpetrator and a female victim, 15% had a female perpetrator and male victim, while in three percent of cases both were of the same gender.

Those in the 26 to 30 age group had the highest rate of victims in the population.

In cases where identities could be verified, in 59% of incidents both the victim or accused had previously been recorded in an incident of domestic abuse.

Incidents of abuse were more likely to occur on Saturdays and Sundays than weekdays, while the most frequent location was at the victim’s home.

The report noted that the majority of domestic abuse incidents go unreported to the police, with data suggesting 16% of those who experienced abuse from a partner said the police came to know about the most recent incident.

There were 206 convictions for crimes under the new legislation.

The report said: “There were 206 convictions in 2019-20 for crimes under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018.

“This was out of 246 people proceeded against, giving a conviction rate of 84%.

“The majority of people (61%) convicted under this Act in 2019-20 received a community sentence and 19% received a custodial sentence with an average sentence length of about a year (363 days).

“Although this crime came into effect at the start of 2019-20, the full course of conduct has to have taken place on or after 1 April 2019.”

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