Page last updated at 10:36 GMT, Monday, 23 June 2008 11:36 UK

Bigger role for city abuse court

Abused woman - Science Photo Library
The abuse court will be able to hear more than 1,000 cases each year

A specialist domestic abuse court in Glasgow is to start hearing more cases from August.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said that the court would be able to hear cases from two of the three police divisions which cover the city.

This expands on the pilot scheme set up in 2004 to cover Glasgow's south side.

In 2007/2008 the court dealt with over 800 cases. It is thought that the new expanded court could deal with an extra 500 cases a year.

Mr MacAskill said the remainder of the city not covered by the court would benefit from more effective management in the existing sheriff courts.

"Violence against women must not be tolerated in any form," he said.

'Dedicated support'

"We know the effects of domestic abuse can be devastating, including on children and young people, and we are determined to tackle it, wherever and whenever it occurs.

"We are determined to build on the success of the pilot court in Glasgow and as a first step we will increase by some 60 per cent the caseload being fast-tracked in the dedicated court."

The government also launched a "toolkit" for agencies dealing with the effects of domestic abuse.

Both measures were supported by Lily Greenan, manager of Scottish Women's Aid.

"We welcome this extension of the domestic abuse court provision currently available in Glasgow," she said.

"We are particularly pleased to see the government's emphasis on the provision of dedicated support for women and children going to court."

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