Updated: Tuesday, 10th December 2019 @ 5:53am

Clare's Law: Manchester MPs rejoice after legislation to tackle domestic violence goes national

Clare's Law: Manchester MPs rejoice after legislation to tackle domestic violence goes national

By David Keane

A new law which allows people to check police records to see if their partners have a record of domestic abuse is to be expanded to cover the nation after a successful Manchester trial.

Clare’s Law, named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her Salford home in February 2009, will help reduce the number of cases police deal with each year.

At the time of her death Clare was unaware of her partner’s history of violence against women.

Clare Wood knew nothing of his violent past and her father believes that had she done so, she may have ended the relationship before things spiralled out of control.

Hazel Blears, Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, who campaigned for the introduction of Clare’s Law, said: “It has the potential not only to change people’s lives for the better, but also to save lives, so I am absolutely delighted that it is to be rolled out nationally.

“Domestic abuse is often a hidden crime which occurs within the home but it makes so many people’s lives an utter misery – two million in 2011/12 according to national figures.”

Clare’s law allowed police to give 81 women information about violent partners, with the rest receiving information that there was no record of a violent past.

The legislation is expected to take effect across England and Wales in March after 146 people or third parties have requested ‘disclosure’ from the police.

“I am pleased to welcome the announcement by the Home Secretary of the roll out of Clare’s law across the UK from next March. This follows a pilot scheme across Greater Manchester and three other areas,” said Manchester MP John Leech.

“I welcomed the pilot scheme when it was announced last year and support measures that will help protect women from domestic abuse.

“This scheme is so important and why it is a fitting tribute to Clare and the campaigning by her family, particularly her dad Michael Brown.”

The law will now accept applications to police forces in England and Wales for information on a partner's history of domestic violence.

This week officers from GMP will be visiting the worst culprits and telling their partners how they can escape, for instance using ‘go orders’ which force violent partners to move out.

After a successful pilot Clare's Law schemes were set up in the Greater Manchester, Gwent, Wiltshire and Nottinghamshire police force areas in September 2012.

Hazel Blears MP added: “Not all of these potential victims will make the decision to end their relationship, but they will be empowered to make that call, and will now know that they could be at risk.

“The roll-out of the scheme is testament to the hard work of everyone who has been involved in our campaign, including Clare’s dad and local radio journalist Michelle Livesey.

“It is also testament to the dedication of all the police officers and other partners who have been involved in making the four police schemes a success, including here in Greater Manchester.”

Image courtesy of Katie Tegtmeyer via Flickr, with thanks.

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