Domestic violence law goes on trial

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A LAW designed to protect the victims of domestic violence has gone on trial throughout the Dispatch district and the rest of the county.

In a bid to warn people about partners with a violent past, The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, will run for 12 months.

Also known as Clare’s Law, after a Salford mum who suffered months of violence and abuse by her estranged partner before he murdered her, it is following a successful campaign by her supporters who lobbied the government to implement the scheme.

“It’s crucial that the force is at the forefront of any developments in tackling domestic violence,” said Supt Helen Chamberlain, head of the county’s public protection unit. “I was keen from the outset that we would be one of the first to test the law.

“Being on the cutting edge of new developments in policing allows us to influence and help shape the process and have an input into how to best protect vulnerable people.

“The police’s primary job is to preserve life and keep people safe, and arming people with the information to protect themselves is one of many tactics we will use to do just that.”

Victims of violence or those people who feel they could be at risk in their relationship can request a check on their partner’s past. A disclosure can also be made to someone who is best placed to safeguard the person at risk.

However there is a strict set of criteria that must be met before information is disclosed. The scheme cannot be used by people considering a new relationship.

Supt Chamberlain said: “There may be many people out there who are unaware that their partner has a violent past.

“A violent or abusive person might wait months or even years to show their true colours, and by the time it happens the victim is often too frightened to speak out.

“The scheme will empower the police and potential victims to take early action in preventing violence.”

For more information about The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101.