1. ITV Report

Calls for 'Clare's Law' to be extended

Clare Wood Photo:

An MP from the North West is calling for a scheme to help stop domestic abuse to be rolled out across the country.

Today marks the first anniversary of the Clare's Law domestic violence scheme, which has been piloted for a year in four police forces - Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Gwent and Nottinghamshire.

The law allows people to apply to police to find out if their partner, or the partner of a loved one or friend, has a history of domestic abuse (Right to Ask). It also gives police and other local agencies the power to proactively disclose such a history where they fear someone may be at risk. (Right to Know)

Hazel Blears, the Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, was part of the campaign for the introduction of Clare's Law alongside Michael Brown, the father of her constituent Clare Wood.

Clare, from Salford, was tragically murdered by her former partner George Appleton in 2009.

She 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.

A petition was handed in at 10 Downing Street and Ms Blears arranged a parliamentary launch of the campaign which won support from across the political spectrum.

Ms Blears said: "Clare's Law has already helped more than 60 women in Greater Manchester and I believe it will help many more across the country if the Government agrees to roll out the scheme.

"That is why I have requested a meeting with the Home Secretary Theresa May to ask her to do just that, because domestic abuse can have such a devastating impact, not only on the victim, but also their family.

"I am really pleased to hear that Greater Manchester Police will be continuing to use Clare Law when the pilot ends this Friday, pending a final decision by the Government, but I will be pushing hard to ensure the scheme becomes a permanent fixture everywhere.

"Not everyone who finds out their partner has a history of domestic abuse will then end the relationship, but they would have the choice.

"And if that helps to save the life of just one more person like Clare, it will have been well worthwhile."

Clare's Law campaign Credit: PA

Since the introduction of Clare's Law in Greater Manchester last September, there have been a total of 109 applications (75 Right to Ask, 34 Right to Know).

Police made 38 disclosures under Right to Ask and 24 under Right to Know, a total of 62. A further 13 applications are due to be considered on Thursday, September 5, the largest monthly total to date.

This follows a fresh publicity push in the Salford area at the end of June.

There have been 12 applications in Salford since last September, of which eight have been granted.

One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime and 100 people are killed each year in the UK as a result of domestic violence.