Following a campaign run by Northumbria Police, people's lives have potentially been saved after making Clare's Law application.
The number of people who made a Clare's Law application to find out about a partner’s previous convictions increased by 45 per cent as part of a domestic abuse campaign by Northumbria Police.
Throughout December, the Force ran a campaign to raise awareness of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme – also known as Clare's Law.
This allows both men and women to request information about a partner’s past. Concerned friends and family members can also make an application.
In total, 112 applications were submitted to Northumbria Police in December 2018 – up from 77 the previous month.
The law was brought in nationwide after Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009 at her home in Salford. It was later discovered that her ex-partner, George Appleton, had a history of violence against women. He was later found hanged in a local derelict building.
Her death prompted a campaign organised by her family members to introduce a new law that allows people to check out their partner's background and if they have any previous convictions.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme gives people the 'the right to ask' police about a partner's previous history of domestic violence. There is also a 'right to know' element, which the police can use in certain circumstances to proactively disclose this information.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC said: “These are good results and we need to keep building on this awareness so we see the number of people making use of this scheme continue to grow.
“Many domestic abuse perpetrators are serial offenders – if one victim gets away, the chances are they’ll move onto the next.
“Passing on important information about a partner’s or would-be partner’s history of domestic abuse can save lives. I encourage anyone with the slightest doubt about someone’s past to get in touch with our officers.”
Detective Chief Inspector Lisa Laverick, of Northumbria Police's Safeguarding Department, said: "I very much welcome the increase in applications as there is a lot more knowledge about domestic abuse out there.
"Clare's Law enables members of the public to make enquiries about a person's past. It gives people the opportunity to evaluate their relationship and make a decision whether to continue with the relationship if there is a history of violence there.
"The campaign was a helpful reminder that the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme is available but we need to make sure people continue to use it throughout the year. We want to raise awareness and encourage people to report domestic violence to the police."
Here is how to make a Clare's Law application: https://beta.northumbria.police.uk/advice-and-info/personal-safety/clare-s-law-domestic-violence-disclosure-scheme/