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Clare's law: How the numbers stack up

Thirteen hundred violent partners have been revealed since the introduction of Clare's Law. It came in after Clare Wood was murdered by her ex boyfriend in Salford, 6 years ago. The law allows people to check if their partner has a violence past. Here's the breakdown in our region:

Clare's Law (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme) and Domestic violence protection orders

Police force / Clare's Law applications / Clare's Law disclosures:

  • Cheshire: 119/32
  • Cumbria 61/41
  • Greater Manchester 291/177
  • Lancashire 189/146
  • Merseyside 144/11

Clare Wood's father - 'She would be proud'

MIchael Brown, the father of Clare Wood. Credit: Press Association.

Clare Wood's father said his murdered daughter would spur him on if she was able to witness the campaigning he has done to raise awareness of domestic violence.

Michael Brown, 71, said his work to bring about changes to legislation to protect women from domestic abuse has helped him deal with the grief felt over his daughter's death.

Mr Brown, a retired prison officer, said more could still be done to protect women from abusive men, including improved use of the police national computer to identify potential abusers.

In the wake of his daughter's death, he lobbied for the Government to enact what would become Clare's Law, which allows the police to disclose information about a partner's previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.

"I've never gone into this for personal glory. I was dragged into this kicking and screaming, had it not been for the fact that my daughter ended up with an untimely end. I'm sure if she's watching she'll say 'good for you Dad, get on'.

"It gave me something to vent my anger on. It was the last thing I expected in my life."

– Michael Brown


Clare's Law shows scale of domestic violence problem

Clare Wood, from Salford, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.

The abusive pasts of more than 1,300 violent partners have been revealed since the introduction of Clare's Law.

The legislation, named after Clare Wood from Salford, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, allows the police to disclose information about a partner's previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.

Using Freedom of Information laws, the Press Association discovered at least 1,335 disclosures have been made across England and Wales under the law following 3,760 applications for disclosure.

But the figures show there are variations between police forces and now Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears, who campaigned with Miss Wood's father Michael Brown to introduce the scheme, said she would write to the Home Secretary to ask what is being done to ensure best practice.

Ms Blears said: "The fact there have been almost 4,000 applications shows just how serious a problem domestic violence is in this country and two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

"More than a third of those who have made an application have received information which empowers them to make a potentially life-changing - or even life-saving - decision to end a relationship. So it is clear the scheme has been of great assistance to hundreds of people already.

"What these figures show, however, is that the likelihood of a disclosure being made varies enormously across the country, so while here in Greater Manchester it happens in more than 60% of cases, in Merseyside the figure is just 11%.

"This suggests Clare's Law is being applied in different ways by police forces. I will be writing to the Home Secretary to ask what is being done to review its use and ensure best practice is shared across the country and the right decisions are made."

Raiding houses to find domestic violence suspects

Police raiding a house in search of domestic violence suspects Credit: ITV

Police in Greater Manchester have raided dozens of houses, in a search for people suspected of domestic violence.

Officers began their raids before dawn this morning.

Police line up at the scene of the raids this morning Credit: ITV

It happened on the day 'Clare's Law' was rolled-out nationwide. The law allows women who fear their partner may have a history of abuse, to get a background check from police.

The scheme's named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her boyfriend in Salford.


VIDEO: 'Clare's Law' has worked, says Home Office Minister

Home Office Minister, Norman Baker, says that 'Clare's Law' has succeeded in protecting vulnerable women.

The law is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her violent boyfriend in Salford.

The scheme allows those in fear of abuse, or who believe their partner's hiding a violent history, to ask police for a background check.

After a trial in Greater Manchester, women across the country will be able to seek such information from officers.

  1. National

How Clare's Law protects women from domestic abuse

Step One: Initial contact - police take details on what prompted an enquiry and the nature of a relationship before running initial checks and a risk assessment.

Step Two: Face to face meeting - to gather more information. Police may run checks with other agencies including the prison service, the probation and social services.

Clare Wood was strangled by her ex-boyfriend. Credit: PA

Step Three: Multi agency meeting - police meet other safeguarding agencies (such as the probation service, prison service, social services). They decide whether disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect a person.

Step four: Potential disclosure - if checks show a record for abusive offences or disclosure would prevent further crime, the police may disclose information to protect a potential victim.

'Clare's Law' to make women safer nationwide

Murder victim Clare Wood Credit: GMP

A pilot scheme to protect women from domestic violence by a partner will be extended nationwide.

Clare's Law was trialled in Greater Manchester, for 12 months from September 2012, to allow women to check police records to see if a partner has a violent past.

It was named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford in 2009.

She had met Appleton on Facebook, unaware of his history of violence against women including repeated harassment, threats and the knifepoint kidnapping of another ex-girlfriend.

George Appleton killed Clare in 2009 Credit: GMP

Clare's father, Michael Brown, has campaigned for greater protection for vulnerable women since his daughter's death.

He has told ITV that he is "quietly elated" about the law's nationwide rollout. He believes that it will provide a "layer of armour" for those at risk of domestic violence.

Clare's father Michael Brown Credit: PA

Home Secretary Theresa May says 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year.

She said: "Domestic abuse shatters lives - Clare's Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy.

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