What is Clare’s Law?
Clare’s Law gives you a formal way to ask the police about your partner’s past. You can do this if you are worried that they may have been abusive or violent before. You can also ask if you have concerns about the partner of someone you know.
The police will check to see if that person has a record of domestic abuse. They will also look for any other information to suggest he or she poses a risk of abusive behaviour.
If they find concerning information, the police will then share this with the person at risk of abuse. This means that person can make a more informed decision about whether to continue with the relationship. It also helps them access further help and support in dealing with an abusive relationship. Anyone in any kind of intimate or emerging relationship can use the scheme.
In certain circumstances, it can even be used where two people have recently separated and there is still a risk of abuse.
Who can ask for a disclosure?
A disclosure under Clare’s Law is the sharing of specific information about a person whose behaviour is of concern with either their partner or a third person. This can only be done for the purposes of preventing crime and protecting their partner from domestic violence or abuse.
You can apply for a disclosure in two situations:
- You can make an application about your partner if you have a concern that they may harm you.
- You can also make an application under Clare’s Law if you have concerns about someone else’s partner.
In this second situation, police will only disclose any relevant history to the person who is at risk, or to someone who is in a position to protect that person.
This means if you have made an application about someone else’s partner, you may not be entitled to receive the information yourself.
Likewise, if someone else has made an application because they are concerned about your partner’s behaviour towards you, it does not necessarily mean police will share any private information with that person. The only situation where a third party will be informed is if they are in a position to protect the person at risk of abuse.
How can I make an application?
Contacting the police
To make an application under Clare’s Law you have to contact the local police force to where the person at risk of abuse lives.
If they live in Bedfordshire, you can make a Clare's Law application online or if you prefer you can:
We cannot deal with Clare’s Law applications where the person at risk does not live in the county. In these circumstances, please contact their local police force via 101 or visit that force’s website for more information. In an emergency or if you believe someone is at immediate risk of harm, always call 999 straight away.