Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or Clare's
The national Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was introduced
recently in Merseyside, also known as Clare's Law, it is named
after Clare Wood who was murdered in 2009 by her former partner
George Appleton, who had a record of violence against women.
The scheme provides a framework for the police to disclose
information about an individual's history of domestic violence to a
new partner. This follows a pilot in 4 police force areas
which operated from September 2012 and provided more than 100
people with information about their partner's violent past.
Disclosure requests can be made in person at any police
station, proof of ID will be required.
There are two ways for disclosing information;
The Right to Ask
Anyone in an intimate relationship can ask about their partner's
violent past, other friends or family members concerned about
domestic abuse can also ask for information, but the police will
only share information with the person at risk of harm.
After being asked for information the police will make a
decision on whether to disclose based on current evidence and what
is held on police systems. A risk assessment will be carried out
before any information is shared.
The Right to Know
The police can decide if somebody should be told about their
partners violent past, to keep them safe. This will happen if the
couple come to the attention of the police for any reason. Again a
risk assessment will be carried out before any disclosure is
Such decisions will be made were it is felt that there is no
further risk of harm or there is no additional information to
Merseyside Police started to use Domestic Violence Protection
Orders or Go Orders in May 2014. They have two stages;
Stage 1: when the police have reasonable grounds to believe that
somebody has used or threatened violence towards somebody else and
the victim is at risk of more violence, they can issue a Domestic
Violence Protection Notice (DVPN).
Stage 2: the case will be heard in the magistrates' court within
two days of the DVPN being issued. If granted by the court, the
DVPO can last between 14 days and 28 days, depending on what the
court think is fair.