Police have made a fresh appeal to women worried about potentially violent partners to contact them and apply to look into the background of their partner. The scheme checks the prison, social service and criminal records of the individual and is designed to reveal the criminal histories of domestic abusers.
This scheme was introduced as a result of a campaign by Claire Wood’s family after she was murdered in 2009 by a violent partner, they later found out that he had previously been convicted of harassment.
‘Claire’s Law’ was introduced in July 2012 to 4 forces across the UK; Greater Manchester, Wiltshire, Gwent and Nottinghamshire and has seen nearly 100 men with a history of abuse exposed.
Despite this, domestic violence campaigners commented the number of people requesting information was ‘incredibly low’ and would have liked to have seen more than just over the 250 requests that were made across the 4 areas.
Commenting on the scheme, Detective Superintendent Phil Owen said: “We would have liked to have seen a greater take up either from those in a relationship or from friends, relatives or neighbours concerned about the possible risk posed to someone they care about.”
With the slow start to requests being made, many are now calling for improvements to be made to the police’s initial response to domestic violence complaints although many claim the Police do not have the resources to do this.
Despite the poor up-take, the requests which have been made have seen some good results, it’s now up to the police and domestic violence charities to continue to raise awareness of the scheme and work together with victims to rid society of these damaging crimes.