A scheme which allows the public to formally enquire about someone that they are in an intimate relationship with, or who is in a relationship with someone they know, has been rolled out across Lancashire.
The national Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme, more widely known as ‘Clare’s Law’, will allow those who are concerned about the violent or abusive history of their partner to contact the police and request information.
In practice, this information may be disclosed via a request from a member of the public – known as the ‘right to ask’ - or by an agency where a proactive decision is made to consider disclosing the information in order to protect a potential victim at risk. This is known as the ‘right to know’.If subsequent police checks show that a person may be at risk of domestic abuse from their partner based on their history, the police will consider disclosing the information.
Head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, Detective Superintendent Ian Critchley said: “Sadly we know only too well the devastating consequences that domestic abuse has and so we hope that Clare’s Law will that help to protect potential victims of domestic abuse and prevent further crime.The scheme is a preventative measure and enables potential victims to take control of their life and make an informed decision about whether to stay with somebody or not.”
Calls for the introduction of the scheme came following the tragic death of Clare Wood, who was murdered by her former partner in Greater Manchester in 2009.
Her partner had three previous convictions under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
A pilot scheme was then launched with four other police forces; Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire and Nottingham.
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: “Domestic abuse devastates lives, and it is vitally important that here in Lancashire we take every step to ensure people do not become victims.
The launch of the scheme coincides with International Women’s Day, also on Saturday, March 8.