Today MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, Stuart McMillan, welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland (DSDAS), also known as Clare’s Law, has helped protect those at risk of domestic violence in Scotland as it enters its third year.
DSDAS was introduced in Scotland on 1 October 2015 following a trial in Ayrshire and Aberdeen, and was rolled out after the success of Clare’s Law in England and Wales which was introduced in March 2014. These schemes allow police to disclose details of individual’s partners’ abusive pasts.
The First Minister said:
“Safeguarding those suffering from, or at risk of, domestic abuse is an absolute priority for the Scottish Government and we were pleased to support Police Scotland’s decision to roll out a national disclosure scheme for domestic abuse.
“Two years on, Clare’s Law has assisted with over 2,000 requests and warned over 900 people of their partner’s history of abusive behaviour. This scheme helps highlight the day-to-day work of Police Scotland officers in helping keep people safe and we will continue to work closely with criminal justice and third sector partners to reduce and ultimately eliminate domestic abuse.”
After asking Nicola Sturgeon about the scheme’s success, Mr McMillan said:
“Figures from Police Scotland show that nearly 59,000 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in the last year, which is an average of one every nine minutes, making it the greatest single demand on police in Scotland. By allowing people to enquire about their partner’s past, this disclosure scheme helps protect individuals in Scotland from potential domestic harm.
“I’m pleased that the First Minister recognises and applauds Clare’s Law’s ability to protect those who suffer from, or are at risk of, domestic violence, and welcome her commitment to working closely with Police Scotland and other organisations to tackle domestic abuse in Scotland.”
Justice Secretary Michael Matheson also praised the scheme’s success in “helping safeguard those who have been suffering from, or at risk of, domestic abuse”.
Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Greater Manchester in 2009. She had been unaware of George Appleton’s history of violence against women.