Notts Police launches scheme to protect domestic abuse victims

PEOPLE in Bassetlaw are now able to find out if their partner has a violent past after Notts Police launched a 12-month pilot scheme this week.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure scheme - commonly known as Clare’s Law - aims to prevent men and women from becoming victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Notts Police is one of four forces across the country to pilot the scheme which allows police to disclose information about their partner’s violent past.

Superintendent Helen Chamberlain, head of Notts Police’s Public Protection Unit, said tackling domestic abuse is one of the force’s top priorities.

“We are committed to using everything available to us to protect anyone in an abusive relationship,” she said.

“There may be many people out there who are unaware that their partner has a violence past.”

“A violence 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.”

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 Clare’s Law scheme works in two ways and a disclosure will only be made when a request meets a strict set of criteria.

Information can be disclosed to potential victims following a request from a member of the public.

Police can also take the decision to disclose details when they receive information a person could be at risk.

The scheme cannot be used by people considering a new relationship and the ‘at risk’ person 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.

To find out more about the Clare’s Law scheme or to make a request for information should visit Worksop Police Station or contact Notts Police on 101. Information booklets can also be found at - police aim to respond to requests within 35 days.