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Met begins Clare's Law online checks

Checking for a partner’s violent past is now possible online.

Anyone with concerns about their partner can make a ‘Clare’s Law’ application on the Metropolitan Police’s website rather than visit a police station or complete a paper form.

The online version of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) form will also be used by other forces as part of the Single Online Home project.

The Met says the online service will give people greater security because it is faster and more discrete.

Submitted DVDS forms will go first to Basic Command Unit (BCU) Safeguarding Investigation Teams. A lead officer is assigned to meet the applicant and if the criteria is met then checks are made.

If a disclosure of violence is made then the officer will ensure safeguarding actions are taken.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was introduced following the murder of Clare Wood who was killed in 2009 by an ex-partner who had a history of violence against women.

Police forces are under pressure to improve their handling of domestic violence cases.  

The police recorded 599,549 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2018. This was an increase of 23% from the previous year. This in partly due to improved identification of domestic abuse incidents an increased willingness by victims to come forward.

The Met hopes the greater discretion of online requests will help prevent cases by encouraging more people – including concerned friends and family - to come forward.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that in 2018 there were just 2,055 disclosures out of 4,655 requests.

Detective Superintendent John Ross, the Met’s lead officer for domestic abuse, said: “By accepting DVDS applications online, the Met is making the process quicker, easier and more accessible for users, whilst offering the same level of discretion and sensitivity. Those people will still be seen by an officer and be offered any support they might need.

“The Met is committed to robustly tackling domestic abuse and we are always trying to improve our response to these types of offences. We want to encourage more people to use this service, and making it available online is one measure which will further improve how we protect and safeguard vulnerable people.”

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