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'Clare's Law' created after murder

George Appleton strangled Clare Wood in February 2009. Credit: PA Wire

Clare's Law was created after 36-year-old Clare Wood was murdered by a man who became known as the "Facebook fugitive".

In the days after her brutal killing, detectives issued a warning that her ex-boyfriend George Appleton might attempt to communicate with other women via the internet

Unbeknown to Miss Wood, Appleton had a history of violence towards women and was known to prowl online dating websites and Facebook in search of partners, often using different aliases.

The mother-of-one's body was discovered in the bedroom of her home in Salford, Greater Manchester, in February 2009. She had been strangled and set on fire.

Police watchdogs concluded afterwards that she had been badly let down by ''individual and systemic'' failures by Greater Manchester Police.

More: Father welcomes 'Clare's Law' rollout

Theresa May: 'Domestic abuse shatters lives'

Today's national roll-out of 'Clare's Law' has been chose by the Home Secretary as it also coincided with International Women's Day and the launch of Domestic Violence Protection Orders.

Home Secretary Theresa May Credit: Reuters

DVPOs will enable police and magistrates' courts to provide protection to victims in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.

Mrs May said: "Domestic abuse shatters lives and this Government is working hard to provide police and local authorities with the tools they need to keep women and girls safe.

"Clare's Law and DVPOs are just two of a raft of measures we have introduced to hand control back to the victim by ensuring they can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary.

"Protection for victims is improving but sadly there are still too many cases where vulnerable people are let down."

More: Father welcomes 'Clare's Law' rollout

Father welcomes 'Clare's Law' rollout

Undated Greater Manchester Police handout photo of Clare Wood. Credit: Police handout

A father whose daughter was murdered by an ex-boyfriend with a secret violent past today said he was "absolutely delighted" women across the country have today been given the "right to know" their partner's history.

The scheme, known as Clare's Law is named after Clare Wood, 36, who was strangled and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton at her home in Salford, Greater Manchester.

Clare's Law gives women for the first time the right to know if a partner has a history of domestic violence and is being rolled out to police forces across England and Wales following a successful pilot scheme.

Clare Wood's father, Michael Brown, a retired prison officer from Batley, West Yorkshire, who spearheaded the "right to know" campaign after his daughter's murder in 2009, said today: "I'm absolutely delighted."

"I must admit it's tinged with a bit of emotion and a bit of sadness but we have got what we were fighting for - to bring protection into the country for half the population."

More: Claire's Law to be rolled out nationwide

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Claire's Law to be rolled out nationwide

Every woman in England and Wales is to be given the right to be told if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

In a pilot scheme - named Claire's Law - almost 400 people asked police if they held any relevant information about their partners. And, in nearly a third of those cases, they did.

ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:

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.

Read: Domestic violence law widens

May: Clare's Law will prevent abuse ending in 'tragedy'

Theresa May has said Clare's Law will provide people with the information they need to escape abusive situations before it "ends in tragedy".

The pilot scheme, named after Clare Wood who was strangled and set on fire by her boyfriend, will allow women to check police records to see if a partner has a violent background.

Theresa May revealed that 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year Credit: PA Wire/Oli Scarff

The Home Secretary revealed that 88 women were killed by a violent partner or ex-partner last year, and said there was "considerable confusion" about when or if police can share information on someone's violent past with the public.

"Domestic abuse shatters lives - Clare's Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy," she told The Sun.

"The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary. This is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future."

Read: More than 300 people contact police using 'Clare's Law'

More than 300 people contact police using 'Clare's Law'

Over 300 applications for information about a potentially violent boyfriend or girlfriend were made to police using Clare's Law, it has emerged.

The right to ask scheme was piloted in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Nottinghamshire and Gwent, over a 14 month period starting in the summer of last year.

During that time:

  • There were 386 applications for information.
  • Police made 111 disclosures - a 29% disclosure rate.

Read more: 'Clare's Law' set to make women safer across the UK

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