Clare’s Law

 ”Clare’s Law” The proposed National scheme that allows people to ask police if their partners have a history of domestic abuse, is to be delayed  due to fears about police intelligence might be based on unproven allegation and might be open to exploitation.  Instead of the national scheme,  a12 month pilot will run in four police force areas – Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire.   The finding from pilots will be used to inform the roll-out of the national scheme. It is also hoped that it will help decide if there should be a “right to ask”, inquiry into a partners violent history, triggered by a request from the public; or on a “right to know”  action, where the police decide to disclose the information to protect a potential victim, even if the victim had not asked for that information.  

 The scheme is known as Clare’s Law, was named after a woman murdered by a former partner.  Clare Wood, fromSalford, Greater Manchester, was murdered in 2009 by a former boyfriend with a violent background.

The 36-year-old mother had made several complaints to the police about George Appleton, whom she had met on the internet, before he killed her. He was later found hanged. Miss Wood’s father,  Michael Brown welcomed the pilot scheme and said that, had it been in place earlier, it would have given his daughter the chance to make an “educated decision” about her relationship withAppleton.

 The child sex offender disclosure scheme, Sarah’s Law, which is the basis for the proposed Clare’s Law, is now in place across all police forces inEnglandandWales.

It was the result of a long-running campaign by Sara Payne, whose daughter Sarah was murdered by a known paedophile.

During the scheme’s pilot in four police areas, 315 applications were made which uncovered 21 cases where a potentially dangerous person did have access to an applicant’s child.

 Police already have common law powers to provide information about someone’s background if officers think there is a pressing need to do so to prevent a crime. The Home Office has not yet disclosed in detail, how the scheme will work but have said the Clare’s Law trials will begin this summer.

 In line with the Equality Act, the  Clare’s law scheme will apply to any person who has concerns about their partner,   regardless of gender identity or sexuality.  LGBT DAF would like to hear about any clients who have been positively or negatively affected but this pilot scheme.  Please  forward your comments to  info@lgbtdaf.org