Clare’s Law sees Northumbria Police receive 230 requests to reveal a partner’s past

Coun Tracey Dixon and Option's Julie Robinson, right, with a white ribbon to mark their domestic abuse march
Coun Tracey Dixon and Option's Julie Robinson, right, with a white ribbon to mark their domestic abuse march

AN ANTI-DOMESTIC abuse charity in South Tyneside has welcomed figures that show a new law allowing people to find out if their partner has an abusive past is being well used.

Clare’s Law was brought in last year and gave police powers to disclose information about a person’s violent history.

Northumbria Police commissioner Vera Baird

Northumbria Police commissioner Vera Baird

The scheme also saw the launch of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) to prevent perpetrators from contacting victims.

New figures show Northumbria Police have received 230 applications for information with 37 disclosures made.

During the same time, officers made requests for 122 DVPO orders to magistrates of which 95 were granted.

Julie Robinson, coordinator at Options, said: “We are pleased to hear people are going to police to request information under Clare’s Law, and would continue to encourage anyone to make an application if they have concerns about their partner’s behaviour.

“Friends and relatives can also make the request if they are concerned.”

Clare’s Law, named after Clare Wood, was brought in following a campaign by her family after her murder in 2009. The 36-year-old was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester. Unknown to Miss Wood, he had a history of violence towards women.

Ms Robinson added: “If anyone is concerned about their partner’s behaviour they can contact the police or a specialist domestic violence service who will make the application on their behalf.”

According to a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, there were 269,700 domestic abuse-related crimes in England and Wales between 2012 and 2013, with 77 women killed by their partners or ex-partners.

Assistant Chief Constable of Northumbria Police, Winton Keenen, said: “Applications for disclosure are carefully considered on an individual basis.

“When disclosures are made, it allows someone to make a decision whether or not to stay with someone when they know they have a record of violence.

“So far we have made 37 disclosures about people with a violent history and this has helped people get away from potentially-abusive relationships, which may in turn have saved their lives.”

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