Coronavirus Acts: ninth report to Scottish Parliament (October 2021)
This is the ninth, two-monthly report on the Coronavirus Acts in which we set out the status and operation of the legislation necessary to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This report is the latest in our regular reporting on coronavirus-related legislation.
This document is part of a collection
5. Further reporting
5.1. Section 14 of the second Scottish Act requires Scottish Ministers to report on SSIs made by Scottish Ministers where the main purpose relates to coronavirus. This provision does not apply to SSIs made by Scottish Ministers under the first or second Scottish Acts or the UK Act. Information on SSIs, to which section 14 of the second Scottish Act applies, is included at section 8 of this report. In this report information has been included on a total of 120 SSIs –10 of which are new to this reporting period - which are in scope for reporting under section 14 of the second Scottish Act.
Information about domestic abuse
5.2. Section 15A of the first Scottish Act and section 13 of the second Scottish Act require Scottish Ministers to take account of any information about the nature and number of incidents of domestic abuse occurring during the reporting period to which the review relates, given to them, or published by the Scottish Police Authority, or the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland. Further, Scottish Ministers are required to explain in the report on that review, prepared under section 15 of the first Scottish Act and section 12 of the second Scottish Act, how the information was taken into account. The legislation does not require this information to be taken into account in the review of the powers under the UK Act, however we have made a decision to do so in order to ensure consistency in our approach and ensure the fullest possible consideration is given to this information.
5.3. In terms of our requirements under the legislation, consideration has been given to the provisions in the Scottish and UK Acts where domestic abuse may be deemed relevant. Where information on the nature and number of incidents of domestic abuse may be deemed of relevance to a provision, this has been considered as part of the assessment of whether the provision remains necessary.
5.4. The information used to support the review was published on 30 September 2021, as part of the Scottish Government Justice Analytical Services data report on how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the justice system. The data from Police Scotland highlights that looking cumulatively across April to August 2021, domestic abuse incidents were 7% lower than the equivalent period in 2020 and 1% higher than the equivalent period in 2019 (26,790 incidents recorded in April – August 2021, 28,783 incidents in April – August 2020, and 26,602 incidents in April – August 2019). The proportion of April 2021 to August 2021 incidents that include the recording of at least one crime or offence was 42.1%, which is lower than for the equivalent period in 2020-21 of 43.2%.
5.5. Separate figures on crimes recorded under the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 are available from the Recorded Crime in Scotland monthly Official Statistics. There were 134 such crimes recorded by the police in August 2021, this is 10% higher than August 2020 (122 crimes) but 7% lower than August 2019 (144 crimes).
5.6. For the purposes of this reporting period, the information on the nature and number of incidents of domestic abuse has not impacted on the outcome of the assessment of whether the provisions remain necessary.
5.7. The Scottish Government remains committed to tackling domestic abuse and within the first 100 days of this government, new funding totalling £5 million went to rape crisis centres and domestic abuse services to cut waiting lists. This funding comprised approximately £4.5 million split between Scottish Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland, and a total of £500,000 for 12 other specialist support services and organisations. In addition, we have created a new Delivering Equally Safe Fund (£19 million per annum) and have recently confirmed allocations to 121 projects from 112 organisations working to provide services and prevent gender-based violence.
Additional reporting requirements
5.8. Schedule 4, paragraph 12 of the second Scottish Act requires the Scottish Ministers to lay a report before Parliament on their responses to requests for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2020. The eighth 'Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020: report on the Scottish Ministers' responses to requests for information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2020' was laid in Parliament and published on 8 October 2021.
There is a problem
Thanks for your feedback