Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence part­ner checks used 20 times a month

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

MORE than 20 peo­ple a month are us­ing a law to help them iden­tify po­ten­tially vi­o­lent part­ners in Wales.

The Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Dis­clo­sure Scheme (DVDS) was rolled out across the UK in 2014.

It al­lows peo­ple to check with po­lice if they are con­cerned their part­ner – or the part­ner of some­one they know – might have a record of abu­sive of­fences or pose a risk of vi­o­lence or abuse.

The po­lice can then de­cide whether to share that in­for­ma­tion, and in what form.

The DVDS is also known as “Clare’s Law”, as it was suc­cess­fully cam­paigned for after the death of Clare Wood.

In 2009 Ms Wood (pic­tured) was stran­gled and set on fire at her home in Sal­ford, Greater Manch­ester, by a man she had met on Face­book.

Un­known to her, the killer had a record of vi­o­lence against women.

The lat­est fig­ures come against a back­drop of hor­rific do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cases in Wales.

Ear­lier this month, it was re­ported how Si­mon Win­stone was jailed for life for mur­der­ing his part­ner, Michelle Denise Rosser, at her home in Bedlinog, Merthyr Tyd­fil.

The 50-year-old, of Bre­con Road, Merthyr Tyd­fil, was found guilty of launch­ing a “bru­tal and sus­tained” as­sault on Ms Rosser, fol­low­ing a long cam­paign of phys­i­cal abuse against her.

Win­stone had been be­fore the courts 35 times for of­fences in­clud­ing as­sault oc­ca­sion­ing ac­tual bod­ily harm, bur­glary and rob­bery.

In 1997 he was also con­victed of in­flict­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm, which was a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence of­fence.

He had pre­vi­ously as­saulted Miss Rosser in 2015 and 2016.

Home Of­fice data shows that both the use of the new law, and dis­clo­sures by the po­lice as a re­sult, have been ris­ing across Wales and Eng­land.

The num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions for in­for­ma­tion by mem­bers of the pub­lic – known as “Right to Ask” ap­pli­ca­tions – has soared from 3,045 in the two coun­tries in the year to June 2017 to 4,655 in the year to March 2018.

In Wales, the fig­ure has risen from 201 to 277. That works out as 23 ev­ery month on av­er­age.

Po­lice dis­closed in­for­ma­tion in 177 cases in 2018, com­pared to just 94 the pre­vi­ous year.

Some 88 of the ap­pli­ca­tions in 2018 – and 60 of the dis­clo­sures – were in Gwent.

South Wales had 79 re­quests and 70 dis­clo­sures, while North Wales had 57 re­quests and 25 dis­clo­sures.

Dyfed-Powys had 53 re­quests and 22 dis­clo­sures.

The fig­ures show that across Wales and Eng­land, Lan­cashire had the high­est num­ber of “Right to Ask” ap­pli­ca­tions of any po­lice force, with 511 in the year to March 2018.

Clare Wood

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