Londoners can now make “Clare’s Law” applications online if they have concerns that their new partner may have a violent past.
People will be able to make Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) applications to the Met via an online form. Previously, the only way to make an application was by visiting a police station and completing a paper form.
The DVDS is commonly known as Clare’s Law, and is named after Clare Wood who was killed in Salford in 2009 by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Following her killing, her family successfully campaigned for legislation that would allow people to formally make enquiries to police about the history of their partner.
The online form has been developed with, and will be used by, other forces nationally as part of the Single Online Home project.
Detective Superintendent John Ross, the Met’s lead officer for domestic abuse, said about the new online service: “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.”
Clare's Law gives any member of the public the right to ask the police if their partner may pose a risk to them. Police will then carry out checks, and tell that person whether their partner has a history of domestic abuse offending or poses any other risk.
Submitted DVDS forms will go first to Basic Command Unit (BCU) Safeguarding Investigation Teams. A lead officer is assigned and notified. The officer may need to arrange a meeting with the applicant. If all the criteria required for the application are met, officers will carry out the checks. If someone is identified as being at risk of harm, the lead officer will take the necessary action to safeguard and manage that risk.
To make an application and for more information, go to the Met website.