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Domestic abuse court pilot at Livingston 16/02/2012 A dedicated domestic abuse court is being piloted at Livingston Sheriff Court from 16th February.

Domestic abuse court pilot at Livingston

A dedicated domestic abuse court is being piloted at Livingston Sheriff Court from 16th February. It is hoped that the new multi-agency pilot will improve the service domestic abuse victims in West Lothian receive from the criminal justice system.

The court brings together a number of agencies who currently work with those affected by domestic abuse, including the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, Lothian and Borders Police, Scottish Court Service, Victim Support Scotland's Witness Service and West Lothian Council's Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Team (DASAT).

The pilot seeks to commence trials within 8 to 10 weeks of an accused's first appearance in court. This will be coupled with the offer of support to victims by a DASAT worker who will provide the link between the victim and the criminal court process. All the cases will be dealt with in court by designated prosecutors and sheriffs to build expertise, consistency and quality of response.

"We all recognise domestic abuse as having a significant impact on victims, their families and our society. We know that many instances of domestic abuse are not reported to the police but also recognise the difficulties victims encounter in having the strength to come to court often after years of abuse,” said Graeme Jessop, Interim District Procurator Fiscal at Livingston. "This pilot allows the prosecution and our victim and information service to continue to show its strong response to this type of crime and to build better a better service to victims through strong multi-agency specialist working."

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