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Police raise awareness of Clare's Law

This Saturday (25 November) is White Ribbon Day, the internationally recognised day when people are asked to wear a white ribbon to signal their opposition to any form of domestic abuse.
Clare's Law - Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
Clare's Law - Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
Warwickshire Police is using White Ribbon Day to raise awareness of The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), or 'Clare's Law' as it's known, named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009, he had a history of domestic abuse - but Clare was unaware of it.

The scheme gives people a formal way to apply for a police check into the past of a person where there is a concern that a relationship may be, or may become abusive. This is available to anyone in a relationship or who has concerns for another person who is in a relationship.

The scheme was launched in Warwickshire in 2014 and over the last two years, 127 people in Warwickshire have used their have used their 'Right to Ask' the police whether a new or existing partner (either their own or a friend or relative's) may have a violent past, with 74 disclosures being made.

How do you make an application for disclosure and what happens next?
For further information about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, or to make a request for information under it, contact Warwickshire Police.
There is more information on the website here, you can also visit your nearest police station or call 101.

The applicant will need to give their name, address and date of birth and some initial checks will be done to establish if there are any immediate concerns. Following initial contact with the police, a face to face meeting may be set up to complete the application if deemed appropriate. This meeting will establish further details about the application in order to assess risk and confirm identity.

If a professional has concerns about a person at risk of domestic abuse, they can make a request  for disclosure, this is known as the 'Right to Know'. In Warwickshire, 23 disclosures have been made under 'Right to Know'.

Working alongside partner agencies, the police will work as quickly as possible to complete checks, a multi-agency panel will check every request for 'Right to Ask' and 'Right to Know' to make sure it is necessary and proportionate and if so, will decide who to disclose the information to and set up a safety plan tailored to their needs.

Superintendent Richard Long from Warwickshire Police said: "Domestic abuse is a deplorable and debilitating crime which can cause lasting damage to individuals, children and families.  The offender may try to control the victim by removing their confidence and freedom, often by the use of threats, intimidation and violence.

"Clare's Law is an opportunity for people to take back control and make the right decision on whether they are at any risk by staying in that relationship."

Sue Ingram, Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy Development Manager for Warwickshire County Council said:  "It doesn't have to be the victim who contacts the police about a Clare's Law disclosure. Often it is family and friends that notice changes in their loved one's behaviour, or that they are being isolated or controlled by a new partner. If you are worried about a family member or friend please visit the Clare's Law information page or contact the police on 101."

Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, said: "Tackling domestic abuse remains a priority for the police and partners here in Warwickshire. As part the commitment of 'Protecting people from harm' in my Police and Crime Plan, I fund a number of initiatives which provide victims with the help and support they need to report domestic abusers, recover and rebuild their lives, while also ensuring the criminal justice system takes a joined-up approach to bringing offenders to justice.

"Ultimately, I want to ensure that agencies can work together to protect people from harm and the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme is an important element of this work. I hope the added focus given by White Ribbon Day helps more people understand how the 'Clare's Law' provisions can help to provide important information to people who may have concerns about a relationship, enabling informed choices to be made."  

You can also contact Warwickshire's Domestic Violence Service helpline for information, advice, safety planning and access to safe accommodation. The service is free from landlines and is confidential. 0800 408 1552 (9am-9pm Monday - Friday and 8am-4pm on Saturday).
Or call police on 101 (always call 999 in an emergency).


Issued: Thursday 23 November 2017 3.45pm HB Corporate Communications


Published 23/11/17