Clare's Law - The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

Together we are Forbes


04 April, 2023

Rebecca Jack

Are you familiar with Clare's Law, also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme?

The domestic violence disclosure scheme allows individuals to request information from the Police regarding a person's history of domestic abuse offenses and convictions. If the information shows that the individual may pose a risk of harm, the Police will consider sharing that information with the requester.

Clare's Law was introduced in 2014 after the tragic murder of Clare Wood in 2009. Mr Appleton had a history of violence and had already served three prison sentences prior to their relationship. He had abused multiple women and was known to the Greater Manchester Police. Clare was unaware of Mr Appleton's violent history of abuse.

When the relationship ended, Clare was subjected to harassment by Mr Appleton, and was raped and strangled by him before her body was set on fire and later discovered in her home in Salford.

The scheme was initially set up as a pilot scheme in September 2012 across four areas but went nationwide on 8th March 2014.

What is the Legal Framework of Clare's Law?

There are two elements under Clare's Law, the "Right to Ask" element, and the "Right to Know" element.

The first "Right to Ask" element allows members of the public the right to request information about a potential abuser.

The "Right to Know" element allows the Police to share information in the interest of policing purposes and for pressing social need. The information sharing must be proportionate and relevant. In these cases, the public interest outweighs potential breach of privacy.

Since the scheme has been introduced, according to the latest Statistics, which run up to 2022, 22,435 people used "Right to Ask" to enquire about a new partner's record. 8,383 of those cases resulted in important information being shared by the Police.

Who can make a disclosure request under this scheme?

A person over the age of 16 who has concerns about their partner's potential to harm them.

A third party, such as a parent, neighbour or friend who has concerns about someone's safety. The person at risk will not be told who made the application.

How to make a Clare's Law Request?

Call the Police on 101 to log the request for disclosure or visit your local Police station.

What Happens after the request is made?

Once the application is made, the Police will then carry out the relevant checks on the individual along with other partner agencies. If a record of abusive offenses is found, the Police will consider sharing the information with you. If the Police decide to make a disclosure, it will be done in person but only to the person at risk.

What is the aim of the scheme?

The aim is for such convictions and their circumstances to be disclosed to potential victims so that they can make informed choices about their safety and that of their children and receive the necessary help and support.

Find out more about Clare's Law here.

Domestic Violence and Abuse Solicitors

Forbes have a team of specialist domestic violence solicitors with extensive experience of representing clients in domestic violence cases. If you're the victim of domestic violence we can help get you the protection you need. Found out more about our domestic violence solicitors here. To get in touch, use the contact details below.

For more information contact Rebecca Jack in our Family/Divorce department via email or phone on 01254505869. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Family/Divorce department here

Building Families Through Surrogacy - A Reform of the Law

Will Forgery Claims - Watts v Watts

Contact Us

Get in touch to see how our experts could help you.

Call0800 689 3206

CallRequest a call back

EmailSend us an email

Contacting Us

Monday to Friday:
09:00 to 17:00

Saturday and Sunday: