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Database of domestic abusers needed

28 August 2008

A database listing all victims and perpetrators of domestic abuse in Scotland should be set up as soon as possible.

This is among the recommendations in a report published by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC). Its proposals are aimed at helping the police improve the way they deal with crimes and victims of domestic abuse.

The report recommends:

  • reviewing the role of the domestic abuse officer
  • all forces working together to develop a common approach to training and support for officers
  • all forces adopting common ways of risk assessing victims and managing those risks
  • forces reviewing and reinforcing their quality assurance practices and processes for recording domestic abuse incidents.

Chief Inspector of Constabulary Mr Paddy Tomkins said: "Domestic abuse has the highest rate of repeat victimisation of any crime, even though only a proportion of all incidents are reported to the police.

"Effective record-keeping and ease of access to information are key to an effective response to domestic abuse. We believe that a national database of victims and offenders would help the police to better respond to potential domestic abuse cases.

"The role of the domestic abuse officer varied between forces and we'd like to see all forces review their own posts against this good practice to make sure we have consistency across Scotland.

"I hope these recommendations can help our police forces to respond more effectively and consistently to potential incidents of domestic abuse, and ultimately help make sure that fewer Scots end up suffering this crime."