Domestic violence partner checks used 20 times a month
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.