The new Domestic Abuse Act needs funded to ensure it has teeth

The new Act makes it easier to prosecute controlling behaviour
The new Act makes it easier to prosecute controlling behaviour

Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell has asked the Scottish Government to provide funding guarantees for the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act which came into force on April 1.

The Act, which was passed with overwhelming support, allows for new powers to tackle coercive and controlling behaviour that previously was difficult to prosecute.

Funding for the new coercive and control behaviour order comes from the Criminal Justice Social Work (CJSW) budget.

Despite stating it would take this into account when deciding its Budget funding allocations the Scottish Government’s CJSW funding has remained static for the last two financial years.

Mrs Mitchell said: “It is concerning that the Government has not yet put in place funding to ensure that CJSW can provide the necessary support for victims of the new coercive control offence.

“The Scottish Government has repeatedly stated how proud it is of this new legislation. However if victims are to have confidence that the act has teeth then they must put in place the money to ensure its effective implementation.

“I call on the Scottish Government to confirm now that it will take the appropriate action to ensure the CJSW is properly funded.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yousaf is talking to local authorities.

He said: “Margaret Mitchell has asked a very important question. It is important to note that we have, of course, ring fenced that budget for local authorities.

“My conversations with CoSLA and local authorities on the matter are continuing, and we have made additional budgets available for any additional pressures that they may face with the passing of the presumption against short sentences.”