Domestic violence disclosure scheme – ‘Clares Law’


A pilot to test a domestic violence disclosure scheme began on Monday 16 July 2012 in the Gwent and Wiltshire police force areas, with the Greater Manchester and Nottinghamshire police force areas joining the pilot in September 2012.

Under the scheme, an individual can ask the police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past (‘right to ask’). If police checks show that a person may be at risk of domestic violence from their partner, the police would consider disclosing the information. The pilot also looks at how the police can proactively release information (‘right to know’) to protect a person from domestic violence where it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so. Both processes can be implemented within existing legal powers.

More information about the scheme is available on the GOV.UK website, and in particular the guidance that relates to the scheme.


The pilot scheme is managed by the Home Office. The specific unit responsible is the Violent and Youth Crime Prevention Unit. Enquiries can be sent by email to or you can write to Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1P 4DF.

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