It is a Scottish Government priority to tackle both the causes and the impacts of domestic abuse. We just heard about the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018, which came into force in April and which reflects the full spectrum of abuse that victims might suffer. Criminal proceedings using the new legislation are on-going in courts across Scotland. As Shona Robison rightly said, one person has already been convicted and sentenced for the new offence.
We have supported the delivery of training to more than 14,000 officers and front-line staff in Police Scotland to support them to recognise the dynamics of trauma and abuse. We are also investing significant levels of funding in front-line services to support survivors of domestic abuse.
The Caledonian programme already seems to be making a huge difference in the areas in which it has been rolled out, and it is gaining the confidence of sentencers up and down the country. Will the cabinet secretary advise when it is likely to be rolled out across the country, including in North Lanarkshire?
Fulton MacGregor’s question makes an important point. Community disposals are available; however, they are always at a sheriff’s discretion. The community alternatives and disposals that could be available include the likes of the Caledonian project, which works with the perpetrators of domestic abuse on rehabilitation to change their behaviour. That is why we have invested £2.8 million to expand the Caledonian system domestic abuse programme, from which 19 local authorities now benefit. We support local government, including North Lanarkshire Council, with £100 million for criminal justice social work. On the specific question about the Caledonian project, I will write to Fulton MacGregor in more detail about the plans to roll it out to the remaining local authorities.