A CHANGE in the law has allowed Greater Manchester to target criminals who carry out coercive and controlling behaviour.

New legislation was brought in on December 29 2015 and means victims who are subject to 'repeated or continuous behaviour' that is controlling or coercive can bring their perpetrators to justice.

GMP has recorded more than 750 of these crimes since the law came into place.

Greater Manchester Police has recorded more than 750 crimes coercive and controlling behaviour since a change in the law made this possible.

In the first year of the legislation being active, GMP dealt with 126 crimes where coercive and controlling behaviour was a factor and just less than a third of these resulted in a criminal justice outcome.

Between December 2016 to November 2017 628 crimes were deal with and 19 per cent had a criminal justice outcome.

Detective Superintendent Denise Worth from Greater Manchester Police, said: “Our results indicate that we are heading in the right direction. However we can’t rest on our laurels and together with our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service we need to do more to support and protect victims of domestic abuse.

“Some of the work that we have been carrying out has included working more closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to improve the overall response and support provided to victims. We have both trained our staff so that they can fully understand the legislation and know the best ways to support victims and signpost to relevant partners.

“We know from our own evidence that this type of abuse is less likely to be reported to us, which is why it’s so important that we effectively train our officers so that members of the public know that if they report the crime it will be taken seriously.

“Coercive and controlling behaviour is a damaging form of domestic abuse to which victims often describe how they lose a sense of themselves.”

GMP is asking people to tryst their instincts and spot the signs of a controlling relationship.

This includes acts such as assaults, threats, humiliation, intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

It will often be accompanied by behaviour designed to make the victim subordinate and or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain.

This is aimed at depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape by regulating their everyday behaviour.

Cheryl Hramiak, senior district crown prosecutor, CPS North West, said: "Controlling and coercive behaviour is an insidious crime. It can have as devastating an impact as physical abuse on the lives of victims, particularly in domestic abuse cases where one person holds more power than the other.

"It often involves the victim being subjected to repeated humiliation, intimidation or subordination and can limit their basic human rights, such as their freedom of movement and their independence.

“Together with Greater Manchester Police we have been training our investigators and prosecutors on the specific challenges of this offence and providing them with practical advice on how to approach cases, particularly about the types of evidence that might be relevant and admissible at court as well as guidance on understanding the behaviour of perpetrators."

For more information on the behaviour go to www.gmp.police.uk/domesticabuse or call 101.

Further support can be found at www.sittingrightwithyou.com or on 0161 236 7525.