Scotland introduces Clare’s Law

Scotland will be piloting a new scheme to allow people to find out if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

Photograph by Flickr user Hibr.

Photograph by Flickr user Hibr.

Clare’s law has been piloted by four police offices in England and Wales but has never been used north of the border.

The law is named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her boyfriend in Manchester in 2009. She was unaware of her partner’s violent background and her family believe she would have left him if she knew.

Scottish Conservative Leader, Ruth Davidson welcomed the announcement by SNP leader Alex Salmond in Holyrood.

“Thousands of people across Scotland suffer domestic abuse each year, and this law could help protect many of them. We know from pilot schemes in other parts of the UK that Clare’s Law works and Scotland couldn’t afford to be left behind.”

A record number of 60,080 incidents of domestic abuse took place in Scotland between 2012 and 2013.

The national Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse, Anne Marie Hicks, believes the new law will send out a positive message.

“I think it send out a message to society and to a local area that we take domestic abuse really seriously: we have a dedicated court which is going to look at this and to deal with it.”

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