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Clare’s Law was introduced in 2014 following the horrific murder of Clare Wood. Clare’s Law allows people to request information from the police regarding whether or not there is any record of previous domestic violence.
There are two types of information disclosures available from Clare’s Law. A “right to ask” where a person asks for information about a person or a “right to know” where a police force can provide the information without being asked to do so in order to warn potential victims.Worryingly, the Home Office figures for 2016/17 show a huge disparity in the reply rates of police forces. For example, Cumbria police replied to 96% whereas, contrastingly, Bedfordshire replies to just 7%.
The national average for England and Wales is 43%, with 3,612 requests granted from 8,490 requests.
A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said the force were "working to improve the knowledge and understanding within our workforce and increase its use to provide early intervention."
Currently, the figures provided by the Home Office demonstrate a type of geography lottery for potential victims. Dependent on the police force, depends whether potential victims get the protection they deserve. This is clearly hugely disappointing and needs improving urgently.
We hope that the police urgently review this situation and an improvement is noted over the years to get the information release to as close to 100% as is possible and reasonable. Potential victims from domestic violence deserve protection and, clearly, Clare’s Law could save many lives.
At Ramsdens we offer support and legal advice to victims or potential victims of domestic abuse whether it be physical, sexual or emotional abuse. We can apply to Court on an urgent basis for a non-molestation order in order to protect you from the perpetrator.
Remember - if you ever feel in imminent danger contact the police on 999.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need some advice contact our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text LAW to 67777 to book a free thirty minute consultation at any of our offices across West Yorkshire to discuss matters in a confidential manner or to obtain further information. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.