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Domestic Abuse: Disclosure of Information

Question for Home Office

UIN 128299, tabled on 23 February 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many disclosures were made through the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in each month since April 2020.

Answered on

2 March 2022

Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime and the Government continues to take action tackle it. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law, is an important tool designed to keep people safe. The scheme has two routes:

  • “Right to Ask”: this enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.
  • “Right to Know”: the police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances.

As part of the landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 we are putting the guidance on which the DVDS is based into statute. This will impose a duty on the police to have regard to the guidance and will strengthen the visibility and consistent operation of the scheme.

Data from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services on the number of applications and disclosures made under the DVDS is published annually. The latest published figures can be found here: Domestic abuse and the criminal justice system - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk).

For the year ending March 2021, there were 6,405 “Right to Know” disclosures and 7,037 “Right to Ask” disclosures, in England and Wales[1],[2],[3].

[1] Applications will not result in disclosure if there is no information to disclose.

[2] At the time of collection or re-submission, the following police forces provided only partial Right to Know disclosures data for the year ending March 2021; Dorset. Data received after the cut-off date has not been included.

[3] At the time of collection or re-submission, the following police forces provided only partial Right to Ask disclosures data for the year ending March 2021; Dorset and Greater Manchester. Data received after the cut-off date has not been included.

Answered by

Home Office