Domestic abuse rolled out after successful Ayrshire pilot

The Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse Scotland (DSDAS) that was piloted in Ayrshire has been rolled out nationally.

The scheme that began in Ayrshire November 2014 became accessible nationwide from October 1.

It allows individuals to apply for information about their partner or someone else’s partner’s offending history.

The scheme was launched to tackle domestic abuse as it allows individuals to request information on their partner to see if they have a history of abuse.

It also allows the user to request information on behalf of another if for example they suspect the partner of a friend.

Announcing the roll out Deputy Chief Constable Rose Fitzpatrick, said:“Domestic abuse affects all our communities. Our role is bringing offenders to justice and working with partners to ensure that victims are protected and receive the right support.

“Up to 25 percent of police time is spent responding to domestic incidents with nearly 60,000 incidents recorded by Police Scotland officers last year.

“When people form new relationships, there can be concerns that the new partner may have an abusive past.

“This scheme gives people the opportunity to ask that question.”

In Ayrshire, since the start of the scheme in November last year, 48 requests have been received for disclosure with 23 requests resulting in disclosures being made.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, said:“Domestic abuse is an appalling crime and I am delighted that, as a result of the national roll out of the scheme, people across Scotland who suspect their partner may have a violent past will have the right to ask for information.

“The results of the pilot clearly show that the scheme works well and is a good fit for Scotland’s unique justice system.

“Put simply it can save lives and sends a clear message that abusers can no longer hide.”

The national scheme is similar to one currently running in England and Wales that was formed after Clare Wood was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend in Salford.

She was unaware of his history of violence against women.

For access to one of the disclosure form visit www.scotland.police.uk/secureforms/disclosure/.