Police officers are set to receive specialist training to identify controlling behaviour.

Scotland’s new Domestic Abuse Act, which will be introduced next year, will make controlling and coercive behaviours a crime.

And in anticipation of the new legislation being brought in, charity SafeLives will begin training police staff this summer.

The charity has highlighted that more than 130,000 people in Scotland live with domestic abuse every year, with 68% of victims who access specialist support disclosing controlling behaviour, and 56% physical abuse.

SafeLives chief executive Suzanne Jacob said: “We now have the chance to change culture in relation to domestic abuse across the whole of Police Scotland. That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to make life better for victims, survivors and their children all across the country.

“The police play a vital role in the response to domestic abuse – protecting victims and children and holding perpetrators to account.

“This training will allow us to work with partners Assist, the Caledonian System, Sacro and Scottish Borders Safer Communities team to develop common understanding and awareness across Police Scotland around the dynamics of abuse, coercive control and the tactics used by perpetrators.”

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