Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme 235/15

Date of request:      04/03/15

Date of response:    17/03/15

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 4 March 2015 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

  I am writing to request information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 about the operational nature of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme in your police force.
As well as the quantitative information available on the number of applications made, granted and denied, I would be most grateful for any information you could provide (in adherence to anonymity where necessary) about the reasons and rationales given both for granting and denying such applications.
1. How many applications have been made to your force under the DVDS since its national implementation in March 2014?
2. How many applications have been granted?
a. What were the reasons for granting these applications?
3. How many applications have been denied?
a. What were the reasons for denying these applications?
4. How many disclosures have been made on a ‘right to know’ basis?
a. What were the reasons for disclosing in these cases?
5. The demographic information obtained from applicants (adhering to anonymity)? In as far as possible: age and / or gender
To clarify, at point 5 I would like to find out in as far as possible what information you collect about the person making the application in relation to their identity characteristics (age, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation etc).
I realise the person making the application may not always be the person ‘at risk’ (but may be making the  application on their behalf), but it would be useful to know if there are trends in terms of age, gender etc. of people aware of/engaging with this Scheme in order to see if it’s reaching a wide range of the population.

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Crime Department of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. 316 such applications have been made to Northumbria Police from March 2014 to 5th March 2015
2. 56 such applications granted
2a. Information was found to be proportionate and necessary and a risk identified to the person at risk
3. 156 such applications denied.
3a. The reasons for being denied are:
It had been identified that the subject did not pose a risk.
Information has been disclosed under a different scheme
The victim does not reside in the Northumbria area
The application did not meet Claire's Law criteria
Duplicated requests
4. 79 such disclosures made on a right to know basis
4a.  It was identified that the subject could pose a potential risk to the victim and they had a right to know so safeguarding measures could be put in place
Female Applicants     185
Male Applicants         27
Not Stated                104 

Mix/Other                 3
Mix/White Asian        1
White British             173
White Irish                2

White British            24

Male/Female not     113
stated origin

20 - 30yr              75
31-40                   59
41-50                   28
51-60                   15
60+                       3

20-30yr                7
31-40                   7
41-50                   7
51-60                   4

Male/Female not    11
stated age


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at:

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.

Dated: 17 Mar 2015