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Proposal to reduce time limit to disclose information about DV

Under new guidance, police will have 28 days to disclose information on domestic violence perpetrators down from the current 35 days.

New guidance, which the Home Office will now begin consulting on, would mean the police will have 28 days to disclose information relating to perpetrators of domestic violence, seven days fewer than the current guidelines.

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was implemented across all forces in March 2014 and enables members of the public to ask the police for information on their partner’s previous violent and abusive offending.

The scheme did not introduce any new legislation but is based on the power to disclose information where it is necessary to prevent crime. Any disclosure must be within the existing legal framework.

It has two elements; the “Right to ask,” triggered by a member of the public requesting information, whether an individual or relevant third party, and the “Right to know,” triggered by the police making a proactive decision on whether to disclose the information.

The new guidance will equip victims and potential victims with information that could keep them safe quicker.  

It also sets out best practice for managing applications that are received online, such as the links to domestic abuse services that must be provided, as well as safety measures including quick escapes for users using online portals.

The Home Office will now consult on the changes before placing the guidance in statute within the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Minister for Safeguarding Rachel Maclean said: “We have to make sure victims and potential victims of domestic abuse have all the protection and information they need to stay safe.

“We must also empower police forces to use their own initiative in situations where they feel someone is in danger, to get information out to victims faster that could be critical for their safety, and to better protect the most vulnerable in society.”

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