“Clare’s Law” Is Being Rolled Out Across The Country

A law allowing women to check the police records of all new partners will cover England and Wales.

The law is named after Clare Wood, who was strangled and set alight by her former boyfriend George Appleton in 2009.

PA Photos/Landov

He had previous convictions for harassment and kidnap at knifepoint of an ex-girlfriend.


He told Clare he’d been to prison, but said it had been for driving offences.

Since September 2012, Clare’s Law has been available in Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, Wiltshire and Gwent. Now Theresa May is rolling it out across the rest of the country.

Phil Noble / Reuters

Writing in the The Sun, she said:


Domestic abuse shatters lives — Clare’s Law provides people with the information they need to escape an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy. The national scheme will ensure that more people can make informed decisions about their relationship and escape if necessary. This is an important step towards ensuring we do better by women like Clare Wood in the future.

Some have argued the law will block reintegration. In the New Statesman, forensic psychology blogger Craig Harper writes:


Many people who, after being convicted and appropriately punished for committing violent crimes, begin to rebuild their lives in the community. Schemes such as the DVDS have a potentially destructive effect on their journey towards desistance from crime. […] Although any bid to reduce the numbers of people being victimised by domestic violence is to be commended, the DVDS pilot has many issues to address before being completely failsafe.

However, Home Office minister Norman Baker told the BBC News Channel:


The pilot was a success in the four trial areas. There was more awareness of the issue, we saw more women come forward who were with partners they did not want to be and we saw the police contact people to tell them of their partner’s history.

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