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Court can’t cope with number of abuse cases

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​Specialist domestic abuse courts in Glasgow can't cope with deluge of cases

An advocacy group has hit out at revelations that over 1,300 domestic abuse cases are waiting to go to trial at Glasgow Sherriff Court.

Despite an extra court being added each Friday and additional trials added each day, the huge backlog means victims are waiting up to seven months to have their cases heard.

Glasgow has its own specialist domestic abuse court, set up to exclusively deal with the issue.

When it was set up in 2004 there was wide praise at its aim to deal with cases within six weeks.

We are just putting a sticking plaster over the problem - Mhairi McGowan

However, campaigners say it can’t cope with the deluge of cases being presented.

It has also emerged that plans to increase domestic abuse courts in November have been shelved.

Mhairi McGowan, head of advocacy group Assist, said the lack of action was not acceptable.

She said: "We welcome the plans to provide extra court resources for domestic abuse cases this month and in October.

“But there were plans for an extra court in November too and those plans have now been taken off the table.

"This means people could be waiting up to 29 weeks - when the aim of the Domestic Abuse Court was to fast-track cases in eight weeks. We need to do as much as we can to get through the backlog of cases and make sure cases are dealt with promptly.

"The issue is, if we are only putting on extra trials in October each year, we are just putting a sticking plaster over the problem."

Concerted efforts to increase confidence among victims in reporting the crime has seen incidents rise dramatically from 35,877 in 2002 to more than 60,000 in 2012.