Register of domestic abusers plans launched by Scottish Conservatives

Domestic abusers would face being added to a register of offenders similar to that used for those convicted of sexual offences under new plans from the Scottish Conservatives.

Plans for a members bill to bring forward a domestic abuse register are set to be announced at the party’s conference in Aberdeen today by Scottish Tory MSP, Pam Gosal.

Figures show the police recorded 65,251 incidents of domestic abuse in 2020/21 – an increase of four per cent on the previous year.

The Scottish Government legislated to extend existing domestic abuse law to cover psychological abuse and coercive control.

The Scottish Conservatives have announced their calls for a domestic abuse register.

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Police and courts were also given the power to ban suspected abusers from re-entering the home or approaching domestic abuse victims while they consider longer-term safety and housing options.

Under the Scottish Tory plans, domestic abuse offenders would be placed on a database which would allow police or local authorities to act to protect potential vulnerable victims.

Ms Gosal said: “I am delighted to announce our plans to create a domestic abuse register, which would give police and local authorities a powerful tool to prevent abuse.

“The SNP have spent years putting criminals ahead of victims, and domestic abusers have been allowed to roam free in our communities undetected.

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“This register will put an end to that, and allow police to act before potential victims are put in danger.”

The plans will also see convicted abusers forced to notify police if they change addresses or have a passport to enable monitoring after release from prison.

Abusers will also be subject to mandatory rehab in an attempt to reduce future reoffending.

The plans form part of the Scottish Conservative attack on what it labels the SNP’s “soft-touch” approach to justice in Scotland since they have been in power.

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Ms Gosal added: “We will also introduce designated BAME engagement officers, to ensure that support is accessible for every community in Scotland.

“Domestic abuse is a stain on our society – The Scottish Conservatives will ensure that victims, not criminals, are at the heart of our justice system.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said it considers all proposals carefully.

They said: “Violence against women is a fundamental violation of human rights and absolutely no one should have to suffer abuse. This insidious crime has a devastating impact on victims and the Scottish Government encourages all those who experience domestic abuse to report it and seek support.

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“We keep the law under continual review and are always keen to explore options to reduce crime and reoffending and we would be interested to understand the detail of any measures being put forward by the Conservatives in their members bill.”

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