If you live in Nottinghamshire, you can find out if your partner has a violent past thanks to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. The scheme is more commonly know as 'Clare's Law'.
It allows police to disclose information to individuals about any previous violent offending of a partner where it could help protect them from harm.
Campaigners lobbied the Government to implement the scheme following the murder of 36-year-old Salford mum Clare Wood, who was murdered by her estranged partner in 2009.
She suffered months of sexual abuse and death threats before being strangled by George Appleton, who had a history of violence against women.
How does it work?
The scheme works in two ways:
- A ‘right to ask’: This is where information is disclosed following a request from a member of the public.
- A ‘right to know’: This is where police make a proactive decision to disclose details when they receive information to suggest a person could be at risk.
A disclosure will only be made when a request meets a strict set of criteria. The scheme cannot be used as a dating agency by people considering a new relationship and the person ‘at risk’ has to have been in an intimate relationship with their partner for a period of time.
Information released by police includes previous criminal convictions but may also include any relevant intelligence held about that person.
A disclosure will only be made to the person or people who are best placed to safeguard the person at risk.
Police will act immediately if at any point they consider a person to be at risk and in need of protection from harm.
It is hoped the scheme will help to increase public safety and arm those at risk of domestic violence and abuse with the right information to protect themselves.
Who can make a request?
- Victims: Anyone who is concerned they could be in a relationship with a person who has been violent in the past can make an application.
- Third parties: Anyone who has contact with a potential victim - such as a parent, neighbour or friend - can also make an application under the scheme. However, the applicant will not necessarily be the one to receive any information released.
- Agencies: Agencies that come into contact with potential victims can also make an application. Again, any information released will only be given to the person who is best placed to protect the potential victim.
How do I make a request?
Anyone who wants to find out more about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, or would like to make a request for information under it, should contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101.
Alternatively, visit your local police station or speak to one of your local police officers.
Police aim to complete an enquiry within 35 days but there may be extenuating circumstances that increase the timescale.
More information can be found on the Nottinghamshire Police Website.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse there is help available:
- Womens Aid Integrated Services (WAIS)
- Telephone: 0808 800 0340 - Freephone helpline 24 hours
- Website: WAIS Website
- Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid
- Address: The Farr Centre, Worksop
- Telephone: 01909 533610 (9am to 5pm)
- Website: Nottinghamshire Womens Aid Website
- Victim Support - Supports male victims of domestic abuse Across Nottinghamshire
- Telephone: 0300 303 1947
- Website: Victim Support Website
- Men’s Advice Line - Support for male victims of domestic abuse
- Telephone: 0808 801 0327
- Website: Mens Advice Line Website