HUNDREDS of offences for controlling and coercive behaviour were recorded in Cumbria last year, figures show.

The latest recorded crime statistics – which show a rise in offences nationally – come amid criticism of ITV over the alleged 'misogyny and controlling behaviour' of several male contestants on the popular dating show Love Island.

Home Office figures show Cumbria Constabulary received 249 reports of controlling and coercive behaviour in the year to March – though this is down from 335 in 2020-21, the first year such crimes are recorded in the data.

Coercive control, which is punishable by up to five years imprisonment, has been a criminal offence since landmark legislation was introduced in 2015.

Abusers can be punished for subjecting a partner or family member to controlling behaviour such as isolating them, exploiting them financially, depriving them of basic needs, humiliating, frightening or threatening them.

In Cumbria, 233 coercive control cases were closed last year, with 88.4% abandoned due to difficulties gathering evidence and 5.6% resulting in a suspect being charged or summonsed to court.

This is compared to 89.5% abandoned and 5.6% charged in 2020-21.