What is its function?

Clare's Law, or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, has two functions:

  • The 'right to ask' - this enables someone to ask the police about a partner’s previous history of domestic violence or violent acts. A precedent for such a scheme exists with the Child Sex Offender Disclosure Scheme; and

  • The 'right to know' - police can proactively disclose information in prescribed circumstances.

The Domestic Violence Protection Orders approach has two stages:

The first stage - where the police have reasonable grounds for believing that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour, they can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice on the spot, provided they have the authorisation of an officer at Superintendent rank.

The second stage - magistrates' court must then hear the case for the Protection Order itself within 48 hours of the Notice being made. If granted, the Order may last between a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days. This strikes the right balance between immediate protection for the victim and judicial oversight.

How do I make a request for information?

To make an application you must contact Northumbria Police by:

Always remember, if somebody's life is in danger or a crime is taking place, phone 999.

To report all other crimes or incidents, or for general information and advice phone 101 or use the 101 online form > > >