What is Clare’s Law?
Clare’s Law is a domestic abuse disclosure scheme designed to give members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquiries about people who they are in a relationship, or someone who is in a relationship with someone they know, where a concern arises that that person may be abusive towards their partner.
Anyone can make an application about an individual in an intimate relationship with another person where there is concern that the individual may cause that person harm. The person making the report does not necessarily receive information about the individual concerned as it may be more appropriate for someone else to receive the information such as a potential victim or another person who is best placed to protect the victim.
There are different ways you can contact the police such as visiting the police station, phoning 101 the non-emergency number for the police, or speaking to a member of the police on the street. If you believe there to be an immediate risk of harm or an emergency situation you should always call 999.
The process of evoking Clare’s Law initially involves contacting the police to report your concerns. Step 2 would involve a face to face meeting to complete an application and step 3 would involve a multi-agency meeting for the police to discuss with other agencies such as Prison Service, Social Services and the Probation Service the information that has been shared with them, any additional information they may have access to, any results they have received from checks they have run and any information from the agencies they have talked to. The agency meeting then decides whether the disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the person and if they decide to disclose the information they decide who shall receive that information and set up a plan tailored to the victims needs to provide them with help and support.
The final stage is potential disclosure meaning that if the checks show the person you enquired about has a record of abusive behaviour, or there is information that indicates a pressing need to make a disclosure to prevent further crime, the police may disclose this to the person who is most able to protect the victim.
Disclosures should be treated as confidential and certainly should not be published on social media.
There are various domestic support helplines that can be accessed if you are suffering domestic abuse or know someone that is suffering. You can ring the police on 101, or in the event of an emergency 999. You can seek assistance from various domestic violence support agencies including the following;
- Women’s Domestic Abuse helpline 0161 636 7525
- Broken Rainbow 0300 999 5428
- Men’s Advice line 0808 801 0324
- Stalking helpline 0808 802 0300
If you need further assistance or support, Clarkson Hirst will be able to assist you in providing advice and assistance in relation to Restraining Orders, warning letters, protection from harassment and non-molestation applications.
Contact either Kerry Davies, Suzanne Willey, Jordan Wallace or Leah Kirk at our Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal offices for further assistance on 01524 39760.