Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

The case of Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in Greater Manchester in 2009, brought attention the issue of disclosing information about an individual’s history of domestic violence to a new partner. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as “Clare’s Law”, introduces consistent processes which enable the police to disclose information about previous violent offending by a new or existing partner where this may help protect someone from further violence. A disclosure can take place if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.

The disclosure scheme has already been running in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire. If you are within one of these four force areas you can still access the scheme. The scheme will be available in all other police forces across England and Wales from March 2014.

How it works

Anyone can make an enquiry about an individual who they are in a relationship with or who is in a relationship with someone they know, and there is a concern that the individual may be abusive towards their partner.

If police checks show that the individual has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate the person you know is at risk, the police will consider sharing this information with the person(s) best placed to protect the potential victim.

Your local police force will discuss your concerns with you and decide whether it is appropriate for you to be given more information to help protect the person who is in the relationship with the individual you are concerned about.

If you are within Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire and you have a concern about someone you know, or someone you are in a relationship with you should contact your police force on 101. You should always dial 999 in an emergency.