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Accessing Your Partner’s Criminal History in Scotland? Clare’s Law Begins in Ayrshire & Aberdeen

This week, Police Scotland’s landmark pilot scheme, which will allow people to access information on their new partners’ offending history, will begin a trial in both Ayrshire and Aberdeen.

The scheme has already been in operation in England and Wales after the murder of a woman named ‘Clare’, by her ex-boyfriend in 2009. The man had a history of violence towards women, but Clare was unaware of this fact. Her story inspired the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse, which has also been labelled ‘Clare’s Law’.

Clare’s father, Mr. Brown, has welcomed the new measures, which have been successful throughout England and Wales but particularly positive in Manchester where his daughter Clare lived. Mr. Brown stated that he was pleased that a similar scheme was now being trialed in Scotland.

The introduction of the domestic abuse scheme has also been welcomed by Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, who commenting, said: “No-one should ever have to suffer the pain of losing a son or daughter to violence. The strength and courage Michael Brown has shown following his daughter’s death is truly remarkable and his hard work in leading the campaign for the development of a pilot scheme will help protect lives.

“Domestic abuse is an appalling crime and I believe that people in relationships should have the opportunity to seek the facts about their partner’s background if, for example, they have concerns that they might have a history of domestic abuse”, Mr MacAskill continued.

Also, commenting on the scheme’s launch, Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable, Wayne Mawson, said: “Police Scotland recognises the terrifying and debilitating impact domestic abuse has on victims. We know it can leave them isolated, vulnerable and often at significant risk. We are committed to providing a robust response to every domestic incident reported to us, and where we find evidence of a crime we will act consistently and decisively.

“However, we need to shift the focus to preventing these crimes happening in the first place and to keep people safe. The disclosure scheme will give people who may be concerned about domestic abuse the opportunity to ask about their partners’ abusive past. It will give them the information to assist in making an informed decision on whether to continue in the relationship” he added.

The pilot scheme will allow Police Scotland to make sure it will be suitable for Scotland’s justice system before rolling it out throughout the country if it is successful. The disclosure scheme is part of the Scottish Government’s £34.5 million funding investment, which is targeting violence against women in Scotland.

Contact us – Domestic Abuse Lawyers in Glasgow

If you have been arrested or charged with a deometic abuse related offence and require advice or legal representation, the criminal defence lawyers at The Glasgow Law Practice provide 24-hour advice and assistance. To get in touch, please call 0141 530 1193. You can also click here.