The story of Clare’s Law
In 2009, Clare Wood was killed by George Appleton, a man with a known history of violence towards women. Clare's bereaved father Michael Brown's grim determination contributed towards a law that could have saved his daughter’s life. His aim was to help to prevent a repeat of what happened to Clare.
Since 2014, Clare’s Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them.
Clare’s Law, or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, has two functions:
1. The Right to Ask
This enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts. A precedent for such a scheme exists with the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme; and
2. The Right to Know
Police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances.
Every request under Clare’s Law is thoroughly checked by a panel made up of police, probation services and other agencies to ensure information is only passed on where it is lawful, proportionate and necessary. Trained police officers and advisers are then on hand to support victims through the difficult and sometimes dangerous transitional period.
How do I make a Clare's Law request?
If you would like to make a request under Clare's Law, you can do so by completing an online form:
Alternatively, you can also visit your local police station.
After the form has been received and the police initial enquiries have been completed, you may be asked to come to a face to face meeting with a police officer. If you are asked to this meeting, you should bring two forms of ID, with at least one being photographic ID.
What happens after I make the request?
Once an application has been made, the police will carry out a range of checks along with other partner agencies. If the police find a record of abusive offences, or if they feel there is a risk of abuse or violence, the police will consider sharing this information.
If the police do decide to make a disclosure, it will always be done in person. This will normally be made to the person at risk, but in certain circumstances someone else may be in a better position to use the information to protect the person.
The aim of this information is to help people make a more informed decision on whether to continue with their relationship, as well as providing help and support when making the choice.