More than 400 crimes have been recorded and 13 people convicted since the introduction of new domestic abuse laws in Scotland.

The legislation - introduced in April - criminalised coercive and controlling behaviours used by abusers, with a maximum tariff of 14 years.

It created a single offence covering the full range of actions, whether physical, psychological, financial or sexual.

A total of 414 crimes were recorded, 190 cases were reported to prosecutors, and 13 people were convicted between April and June, according to Police Scotland.

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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."

The force has given 18,500 officers and staff online training on domestic abuse and the new offence since December 2018.

Mr McCreadie said: "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."

Scottish Women's Aid chief executive Dr Marsha Scott said the group would be "cautious about drawing any conclusions from three months of figures" but "will continue to work with all our partners to make Scotland's new law work as intended".


She added: "We were happy to hear some encouraging reports in the first month after implementation, but we are keeping a watching brief, as reports from our services across the country indicate that women's experiences when reporting under the new law have varied from place to place.

"We are particularly interested in hearing more detail about the more than 50% of cases not being passed to COPFS and how we can work with partners to improve this figure.

"With such a sea-change piece of legislation, we did expect there to be bumps in the road and we are committed to keeping a close eye on how things progress.

"We are working hard to make sure this new law sees the best outcomes for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

"With that in mind, we have been holding a series of implementation seminars looking at risk assessment, at children's experiences of domestic abuse, at gender and coercive control perpetrators.

"We're also keen to head off unintended consequences such as mistaken arrests of perpetrators who are really victims and missed opportunities to engage with children and young people across the criminal justice process."