FM announces Disclosure Scheme to be made available across Scotland
Women and men across Scotland who suspect their partner has an abusive background may now have that information disclosed to them, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
Police Scotland’s ”Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse” in Scotland will be rolled out across the country later this year.
Ms Sturgeon and Chief Constable Sir Stephen House made the announcement while on a visit to Edinburgh Women’s Aid where they met staff and volunteers who work with domestic abuse victims.
They were joined by Michael Brown, whose daughter Clare was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford in 2009.
She was unaware of his history of violence against women.
Also known as “Clare’s Law”, the scheme allows people to contact the police and request information on their partner’s background if they suspect them of a history of domestic abuse.
It was trialled for six months in Ayrshire and Aberdeen with a total of 59 applications received and 22 disclosures made.
Each case is considered carefully by Police Scotland and other agencies to determine whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the individual from their partner.
Ms Sturgeon said: “There is no excuse or place for domestic abuse in Scotland and we need to do all we can to ensure we protect people from what is an abhorrent crime.
“I announced earlier this year new funding of £20 million over the next three years to step up our work to tackle violence against women.
“We are working in partnership to combat domestic abuse and we see Police Scotland’s Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse as a vital step forwards.
“The victims of this unacceptable behaviour are predominantly female but males are also targeted; we must make sure that everyone is offered protection and information which reduces the risk of harm.
“I firmly believe that people who have concerns that their partner may have a history of domestic abuse should be able to find out.”
Sir Stephen said: “Following the pilot, the Disclosure Scheme will now be rolled out nationally and will play a key part in keeping people safe. In Aberdeen and Ayrshire, this scheme has now prevented 22 people becoming victims of domestic abuse.”