Notts Police pilot domestic abuse scheme ‘Claire’s Law’
MANSFIELD and Ashfield residents can now find out if their partner has a violent past thanks to a 12-month pilot being run by Nottinghamshire Police.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – or ‘Clare’s Law’ as it’s more commonly known – aims to prevent men and women from becoming victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Tackling domestic abuse is one of Nottinghamshire Police’s top priorities and the Force is one of four to pilot the scheme.
It allows police to disclose information to people about their partner’s violent past, where it could help protect them from harm.
Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, Head of the Force’s Public Protection Unit, said on Monday: “IThe police’s primary job is to preserve life and keep people safe, and arming people with the information to protect themselves is one tactic we use to do just that.”
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.
The scheme works in two ways. Information can be disclosed to potential victims following a request from a member of the public.
Police are also able to 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 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 that can be 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.
Supt Chamberlain said: “We are committed to using everything available to us to protect anyone in an abusive relationship.
“There may be many people out there who are unaware that their partner has a violent past.
“A violent or abusive person might wait months or even years to show their true colours, and by the time it happens the victim is often too frightened to speak out.
“The scheme will empower the police and potential victims to take early action in preventing violence.”
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, click on one of the following links to download an informative booklet which explains how the scheme works.
People can also make an enquiry by visiting their local police station or by speaking to one of their local police officers.
Police aim to complete an enquiry within 35 days but there may be extenuating circumstances that increase the timescale.
Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone added: “Domestic violence is a dreadful crime which sees millions of women and families suffer years of abuse.
“That is why we are constantly looking at new ways of protecting victims and have ringfenced nearly £40 million of stable funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence support services and help lines until 2015.
“The domestic violence disclosure scheme is designed to prevent tragic incidents from happening by ensuring that there is a clear framework in place with recognised and consistent processes for disclosing information to the public.
“It’s just one of a series of measures we have introduced to tackle violence against women and girls. Earlier this year we announced two new stalking offences, and the criminalisation of forced marriage.
“We have also introduced domestic violence homicide reviews and are working with the Association of Chief Police Officers to ensure officers understand the complexities of domestic violence cases.”
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Weather for Mansfield
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North