Domestic violence accounts for one in four suspects in custody in Glasgow
Jess McCabe // 18 July 2009
One in four suspects held in custody in Glasgow are under investigation for domestic violence, The Herald reports.
This statistic drives home yet again how everyday domestic violence really is.
The domestic abuse unit, the first of its kind in Scotland, was set up by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) and started work in April. The unit has seen an increase in domestic abuse cases being reported to the fiscal in Glasgow during its first three months in operation, a total of 982, approximately 25% of the total number of overnight custodies reported to the procurator fiscal.
Information from the Victim Information and Advice (VIA) service of the COPFS, which deals with all cases of domestic abuse, suggests that the number of cases prosecuted during the same period in the previous year was significantly less, around 35%, than the new unit has dealt with.
The unit is responsible for investigating, marking preparation and prosecuting any cases reported by the three divisions of Strathclyde Police in Glasgow, part of a move within the fiscal service towards specialisation and concentrating on specific types of crime.
Glasgow was chosen for the specialist unit because of the size of the city and the huge volume of domestic abuse cases. It was also set up in response to the expansion of Glasgow’s Domestic Abuse Court, founded in 2004. The court has specially trained sheriffs and prosecutors and fast-tracks domestic abuse cases, while providing specialist support and advocacy for victims. Working with the Domestic Abuse Court, the new unit aims to improve the efficiency of the prosecution process and provide a specialist resource.