Reported by Evening Express – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media. 

Use of a police scheme to find out whether a partner has an abusive past has risen by almost a fifth since the lockdown began.

Police Scotland said around 260 requests were made through its domestic abuse disclosure scheme between restrictions coming into force on March 23 and Monday April 27.

Requests have risen 18% on the 219 made over the same period of 2019.

Police officers and other professionals such as social workers and NHS staff are making the majority of the requests, under the Power to Tell aspect of the scheme which enables them to raise a concern about someone they believe might be at risk of domestic abuse.

Police Scotland then decides whether to make a disclosure to safeguard a person.

The scheme also gives people the Right to Ask, enabling a person to inquire if their partner has an abusive past.

In addition, it allows any concerned third party such as a parent, relative, neighbour or friend to make the application on a person’s behalf.

Each case is considered by a multi-agency panel to determine whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the individual from their partner.

Assistant Chief Constable Duncan Sloan said: “Domestic abuse is an ongoing threat in our local communities and there remains an increased risk as people continue to observe isolation and physical distancing guidance.

“Police Scotland will not tolerate domestic abuse, tackling it and preventing it is a priority for us and that has not changed because of Covid-19.”


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