Will Clare’s Law make much difference? By John Bolch

Family|Relationships|March 10th 2014

Amid much media fanfare, and timed to coincide with International Women’s Day, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, better known as ‘Clare’s Law’ was introduced across England and Wales on Saturday. The scheme enables people to find out from the police whether their partner has a history of domestic violence.

The news was, of course, welcomed by the family of Clare Wood, after whom the ‘law’ was named. Clare was murdered by her former boyfriend George Appleton, in 2009. Appleton had a record of violence against women and Clare’s father is convinced that she would still be alive had she known the full extent of Appleton’s previous behaviour.

The introduction of Clare’s Law has also been generally welcomed elsewhere. Assistant Chief Constable Louisa Rolfe is the national lead for domestic abuse in the Association of Chief Police Officers. She says that it will give police officers more options when tackling domestic violence. The Home Office has said that the pilots of the scheme in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire since September 2012 had provided more than 100 people with “potentially life-saving information”.

But there are others who have their doubts about the scheme, and I am one of them, as I mentioned in this post on the 29th Novembe. I do hope and expect that the scheme may help some people, and that of course is a good thing, but I’m not sure that it will really make much difference to the problem of domestic violence generally, and I fear that in some cases it may actually make things worse.

As I mentioned, how many people at the start of a new relationship with someone they are obviously fond of are going to stop and think: “Oh, I’ll just check with the police to see if they’ve ever been convicted of an offence involving domestic violence”? They are only likely to check if they have suspicions, and if they have suspicions then they are likely to have already decided to ‘break it off’.

And if they don’t break it off, a negative check may give them a false sense of security, and encourage them to carry on with the relationship, rather than rely upon their ‘gut’ feelings. After all, many of the perpetrators of domestic violence are never known to the authorities.

But it goes further than that. What do you do if the check comes back positive? Do you confront your partner about it, or do you simply leave them?

Obviously, confronting someone with a propensity towards violence is a very risky thing to do. Even if the partner does not react violently, they may provide plausible ‘excuses’ for their previous violence, perhaps even denying that it happened at all. Again, that may provide the potential victim with a false sense of security.

Even leaving can be fraught with dangers – if the partner gets wind of it they may use force to try to stop you leaving. A positive check may cause the potential victim to want to leave immediately, but leaving safely may require a little planning. Even after you have left, you are not necessarily safe – much domestic violence occurs after the parties have separated. What if you have nowhere safe to go? This is a particular problem at a time when we hear stories of women’s refuges having to close due to budget cuts.

In short, I don’t think that Clare’s Law will have much effect, and it will be essential that those who do use it receive proper advice.

John Bolch often wonders how he ever became a family lawyer. He no longer practises, but has instead earned a reputation as one of the UK's best-known family law bloggers.

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  1. Andrew says:

    Assume it’s a woman enquiring about a man as it usually will be.

    The subject of the enquiry MUST be told. First he must have the chance to say “That woman and I are not shacking up; she is an ex who won’t let go; a rival at work; or just a nosy parker”. Second he must have the chance to say “If that’s how much you trust me we are through, sayonara to you”.

    Only the woman should be allowed to ask – nobody “on her behalf” except that if she has children the father of those children MUST be allowed to ask so that if there is anything amiss he can launch proceedings to get the man – and if necessary the woman – out of his children’s lives.

    And the information MUST be limited to convictions. ot acquittals or cases which did not go the distance or “intelligence”.

    If anything is wrong in those three MUSTS I would like to hear why.

  2. Paul says:

    This “law” will have no effect other than to further distrust between men and women generally and possibly to actually incite violence when someone finds out they were the target of this wholly misconceived “law”.

  3. Paul says:

    Note the fatuous police claim that in the test areas, Clare’s “Law” has already ‘potentially’ saved the lives of a hundred people (aka women). That’s a weasel and a pretty sick claim to make actually.

    And what exactly is a “national lead for domestic violence” at ACPO anyway. Are they talking about that dodgy private limited company led by some phony in his fake police uniform and shiny sheriff’s badge which was caught selling private information extracted from police computers on to insurance companies? Someone ought to arrest him for impersonation and data theft.

  4. Paul says:

    90% of DV allegations made to police go precisely nowhere.


    Demonstrating that most DV allegations are in all likelihood a load of old baloney and that DV must be about the most over-reported crime there is. Some men are getting arrested nowadays for arguments over the remote control.

    Apropos Andrew’s remarks, the subject ought to have the right to know that his private data rights are being transgressed and abused. Moreover, he ought to have the right to see ALL the duff information police are keeping on file about him.

  5. JamesB says:

    Yes, I was arrested because my ex father in law assaulted me and he is a policeman. Problem was it was his word (and my ex wife’s) against mine. It was dropped the day before the court after about 4 months and lots of cost and was pretty upsetting all round really. I was also arrested for arguing with my wife in a public place. About 4 hours later, just after the children went back and she picked them up, 2 mins later I got the knock on the front door.

    She alleged that I assaulted her, she assaulted me and I put my hands up yet I got arrested. That one was dropped – NFA (no further action).

    I was also arrested during contact while taking my daughter to a birthday party. Ex and her boyfriend turned up and started trying to take my son. So I stood between them and was assaulted. Then all hell breaks loose, the police get called and I get arrested and the children taken and given to her. That was on my contact weekend – not that the police seemed to care – if you are the father you get arrested, stupid law. Again, no further action.

    Just thought I would share some of my experiences of trying to remain in contact with my children. I can also talk about trying to enforce contact orders or get holiday or decent contact or financial settlement for non resident fathers or solicitors bills or the family law in this regard. All of this I have found to be lacking (to put it mildly and with understatement).

  6. JamesB says:

    The 2nd arrest was NFA’d fairly quickly as there was previous. The third (at the soft play party) I was hoping to prosecute her, but the Police were feminist and only interested in trying to stitch me up. Ridiculously biased law in favour of women and affectiing families and children badly. I do think seeing his mother go crazy has affected my son and she should have been held to account for her behaviour on this and other occasions.

  7. JamesB says:

    The police had the evidence to prosecute her. She tore my t shirt to shreds and I had defence scratches all over my hands and arms, if it were a man, they would have prosecuted as it was a mother they did not. With her father it was the same – he actually bit me and I had the scar – the police said – you shouldn’t have put your hands in his mouth, sometimes they are hardly like Columbo or Inspector Morse, more like inspector Cluso.

  8. JamesB says:

    When I asked why she was not prosecuted for her attack given that my t shirt was in shreds – the policewoman said – perhaps you might have caught it on a car aerial or something – sick joke how biased and bad the law is with regards to this subject. There was more than enough evidence to prosecute beyond a reasonable doubt, yet the police were not interested because the perpetrator was a woman, apparently only men are violent, their theory – not much of a theory.

  9. JamesB says:

    The police need to re-assess their approach towards DV and not just go along with the crazy feminists which make the matter worse and more violence on the streets perpetrated by crazy women and fatherless children, rather than blaming the NRP fathers out of lazinness. The conviction figures Paul shows quite rightly prove that the police are barking up the wrong tree.

  10. Tristan says:

    My post was censored. Basically, James, you sue the police for unlawful arrest (they could have invited you down to their station for a cup of tea and an interview without arresting you) and false imprisonment if you spent some time in a cell. I copped fifteen hundred quid for arrest plus five hours spent in custody, plus, of course, every single penny of my legal costs, just under £5 k total. Serves them right. They disrupt and interfere unnecessarily with family life which includes having a barny from time to time if the situation calls for it.

    Police hate these cases going to court as it exposes the unjustness and illegality of their practices. Courts protect intrusive use of police powers but they can only go so far.
    If they are trying to bully you, which most often they are, then get them into court. If there is no obvious need to effect an arrest then such an arrest would be found unlawful. Look up PACE 1894 Code G covering the rules on summary arrest.

  11. Stitchedup says:

    “Even after you have left, you are not necessarily safe – much domestic violence occurs after the parties have separated”… much domestic violence is alleged to have occurred during/after separation due to gamesmanship.

    It was interesting to hear the comments from the Police and Refuge regarding Clare’s Law on BBC breakfast a day or two ago. Charlie Stayt seemed surprised that information will not necessarily be disclosed even if the man has a conviction. The Women Police officer explained that it was about managing risk not disclosing convictions… clearly the Police believe there are men out there that have DV convictions but actually pose no real threat to women….. and they are absolutely right.

    Also a representative of Refuge said Clare’s Law would be of little use. Perhaps Refuge also believe there are men out there that have DV convictions but actually pose no real threat to women.

  12. Stitchedup says:

    I was told that all the Police have to say is that an allegation was made therefor the arrest is justifies???

  13. Luke says:

    I read the article Paul linked to in The Guardian and it is really disturbing – the Home Secretary and Shadow Home Secretary seem to think only domestic violence against women is important – only in a society that has to be described as extremely feminist can you get away with their pronouncements in this article.

  14. Tristan says:

    Stitched, absolutely not the case at all. The police feed and thrive off naivety like that. Arrest is a denial of basic freedoms and is not to be removed from someone without strong cause. We fought real wars for these freedoms and judges ultimately know they have a duty to defend that.

    Investigation of an offence provides cause for arrest BUT the suspicion of an offence has to be reasonably held (which kicks frivolous accusations straight into touch) AND the arrest is necessary to carry out a prompt and effective investigation. They can’t just arrest you “on suspicion” (which they claim they can). The suspicion has to be reasoned, logical with objective evidence in support. For the most part, if allegations are weak and going nowhere, police MUST at least CONSIDER alternative means of investigation without arrest. Look up the case law on unlawful arrest. Every separated father ought to know his rights vis-a-vis the police. Like I said, the DV bully boys thrive on public ignorance of the law which they frequently abuse.

  15. Stitchedup says:

    Thanks Tristan,
    I will look into this. That might sound a bit strange coming from a DV convict but I was arrested 4 or 5 times with NFA and on one occasion the Police officer that interviewed me whilst in custody refused to put the allegation to the CPS and got the desk/custody sergeant to let me out, gave me a lift home, told me I shouldn’t have been arrested and referred to his colleagues that made the arrest as “Chimps”.

  16. Stitchedup says:

    Just for those that don’t know my story (if there are any!), all I was accused of is talking to my ex partner without reasonable excuse. There has never been any genuine domestic violence in my case.

  17. JamesB says:

    It did cost the tax payer as I asked for legal aid lawyer which is free when in the police station if arrested, as I was a few times.

    I regret dropping my complaint and perhaps taking the police to court on this but, well, I don’t know, I need to move on. That said, the positive intervention policy (arrest man 1st, ask questions later) does seem dodgy.

    With my complaint it went to the highest level and they advised me the practice now gives the police more discretion whereas before they had to arrest, evidence or not.

    Personally I think arresting chaps on the say so of their partners is ludicrous and needs stopping. To call all men in law guilty until proven innocent as it does is disgraceful and brings them further into disrepute, like Hillsborough, Steven Lawrence enquiry, bloody Sunday, Guildford four, etc.

    The law is supposed to be by the people for the people and being seen to be done, where it is for the feminist lobbyists it has missed the mark by a long way.

    Elected police commissioners was at least a (long over due) step in the right direction.

    With re to Tristan, yes, thank you for that. However I have a lot of battles to fight and am tired and can’t do them all.

  18. JamesB says:

    Yes, I got a couple of lifts back from the station in front seat of panda car also. I suppose they were trying to make me feel better for spending hours and hours in cell when I should have been with my children but for them. Not much by way of a sorry. Not a fan of this policy, but I think it is not as bad as it was, however that might be the spin put on their response to my complaints – that it isn’t like that anymore and the police have more discretion and do not just arrest the man where a woman accuses DV as was the Thames Valley positive intervention approach. Nightmare. I was on a promise that day also and yet I ended up down the station and my girlfriend all dressed up in all the gear and suspenders etc. ended up seeing some rubbish film in the cinema by herself – not good, not making the police popular in my book, or my (now ex) girlfriend’s book either.

  19. JamesB says:

    After being through this I have lost a lot of faith in the law and the police being fair or trying to be. I hope they get better and to give them credit I think they are getting better.

  20. JamesB says:

    Good police and good law are important for a good society. If you have bad law and bad police you have a bad society. Ours was poor and is becoming average, hopefully will become good in the next few years and stay there, for men and women and children of all colours and types.

  21. JamesB says:

    Just like that scene in layer cake except the people who took me away were the police, rather than gangsters, although many would have difficulty knowing the difference the way it was handled.

  22. Tristan says:

    Adherence to PC policy write-ups in an ACPO manual is endorsed by knighthood-seeking chief constables on the make. You become cannon fodder for these over-ambitious police careerists. Their ACPO manuals erode the powers and responsibilities of the Office of the Constable which obtain from the Crown and from which the individual constable derives his powers by consent of the public. That consent is vanishing, fast, more particularly so as they are now likely to turn up on your doorstep armed with Tasers. How did they obtain the consent of the public for those?

    Your various arrests for so-called DV have nothing whatsoever to do with investigating and solving crime which, from what you post, was self-evidently non-existent. These arrests were politically motivated pure and simple, the police trying to big themselves up on DV and inflate their dodgy “crime” statistics.

    Most people can’t be bothered to sue the police. They shrug it off and move on. Fair enough you might think but slowly, slowly you allow your freedoms, hard won by others before you, to erode away.

  23. JamesB says:

    We spend too much money on the police and do not get enough value from them.

  24. JamesB says:

    I haven’t seen them do much. An example is the fortune my local football club spends on them and they get very little back in return or value for their money.

  25. JamesB says:

    Here’s another site which shows how one sided the debate and law has been and how unfair it is to just blame the man when it is just as likely, indeed possibly more so that the culprit was the woman.


  26. Stitchedup says:

    James wrote – “the positive intervention policy (arrest man 1st, ask questions later) does seem dodgy.”

    It is worst than dodgy James, it has all sorts of other serious consequences. Firstly, a string of NFA arrests creates a “no smoke without fire” impression, and is usually a pre-cursor to an ex-parte non-mol. As you know only too well, It’s a tactic advocated by Women’s Aid and malicious solicitors to obtain occupation orders, custody of the children and better financial settlements.

    With a string of NFA arrests before him/her, a judge will issue an ex-parte non-mol as a safe bet and attempt to justify this to the respondent by stating “it doesn’t stop you from doing something you shouldn’t be do anyway”. As I’ve said many times before, this justification falls flat on it’s face when a non-communication order is attached that forbids the respondent from even talking to the applicant with whom he has been in relationship for 20 years, has 2 children, a beautiful family home and other valuable assets.

    Secondly, as Paul has pointed out in another thread, “If you have been the subject of an unadjudicated arrest (e.g arrested on bogus allegations then released without charge) then you are officially ineligible to travel on a WVP (Visa Waiver Programme) to America.”

    So just by being arrested you are not at liberty to travel freely. It’s gets worst if you have been unfortunate enough to become the subject of one these bogus non-mols, and then found to be in breach just because you have spoken to your ex. Then your ability to find a job, and if necessary travel on business, can be severely limited.

    It all needs to stop, and for those that have already fallen foul of such a ludicrous system so clearly open to abuse, their convictions should be reviewed and where appropriate quashed. I feel very, very, strongly about this; this nonsense is destroying lives and families and has very little to do with genuine domestic violence. The controlling behaviour in many cases is coming from the vexatious women and malicious solicitors that abuse the system, and the spineless, incompetent judges that allow the system to be abused in the way it is; feminist political correctness gone mad.

  27. Stitchedup says:

    Another point I picked up on from the Refuge representative on BBC breakfast. The often quoted “2 women a week” statistic is not going down according to Refuge, yet the number of DV convictions have gone through the roof.

    I made an argument/statement when I first started contributing to this blog but I can’t remember if it was censored or not. I’ll say it again, a non-mol is not going to stop a murder. If a person, man or woman, has got to the stage they are prepared to kill, they have gone past caring about what a judge has told them they can or cannot do and the consequences of their actions.

    Non-mols simply don’t stop murders, the statement from Refuge appears to confirm this. They are a superfluous overreaction when the law can already deal with assault, threatening behaviour, sexual abuse, child abuse etc. etc. Non Mols just allow unnecessary intrusion by the state into everyday family life, domestic disputes and the emotionally charged time that surrounds divorce and separation.

  28. Stitchedup says:

    Another point…..contrary to the well used cliché that a non-mol doesn’t stop you from doing something you shouldn’t be doing anyway; they are often used to do the exact opposite, i.e. to stop a person from doing something they would normally be able to do, or to criminalise a person for something that would not normally be a criminal offence.

  29. JamesB says:

    I do not believe that being arrested jeopardises travel (Visa waiver programme) or a county court Judge. Sorry. My ex’s expensive barrister failed in his attempt to get a non mol because there was no evidence.

    If you are arrested then that is not the same as being convicted. You are innocent until proven guilty, in America also.

    It was tiring to my ex claiming to be in fear of me though (under solicitor’s instructions). Silly game this. Indeed, it is worse than that, it is a bad game as it is like the boy crying wolf and makes DV allegations less believable. Like if everyone crys rape then the woman who really has been raped gets ignored. Not good approach this and there being so many dodgy allegations (as per Paul’s post above somewhere – think 90% never go anywhere).

    I also do not think an arrest is put on any record that the US have access to. If it is then that is illegal / has sovereignty issues. We are not part of United States of America. I would say we are not part of the United States of Europe, but we are as there is free movement of people here which means we no longer have UK, but EU sovereignty instead. Anyway, the point is that a lot of this is naval gazing nonsense.

  30. Stitchedup says:

    You don’t need any evidence to get a non-mol in the civil courts, there is no burden of proof as such. They claim it is a balance of probability decision but I think even that is stretching it. It’s good your ex failed to get the non-mol James, but innocent until proven guilty you are not when it comes to DV allegations. The cliché, “it doesn’t stop you form doing something you shouldn’t be doing anyway” really sums up the slap dash attitude many judges have to non-mols… they dish them out like smarties.

    I think Paul actually said “90% of DV allegations made to police go precisely nowhere.” That’s not the same as 90% of applications to the civil for non-mols go nowhere.

    I can’t recall the specific details of the non-mol your ex applied for… was it ex-parte?

    Your experience of the courts are clearly different to my experience.

  31. JamesB says:

    She got an ex parte for a couple of weeks. When I went along for a non mol hearing it was dropped as judge advised her barrister to drop it as judge thought it was a waste of time. Judge told me to not make her regret decision then the ex parte one expired. The moral of the story. Probably to enjoy life and that you are responsible for your temper even if the other person is crazy and you get the blame fo their crazinness. God and good people know I am not an abuser. The rest need to educate themselves.

  32. JamesB says:

    It does annoy me that she was never held to account for her behaviour at all. My sons 1st memory is me falling on him from her pushing me over for instance. But I feel abused twice, once by her and once by the courts for them trying to placate her through giving her everything she asked for, despite her issues. If I was rich perhaps I would have had more of a chance in court with re to money and contact. Both of which I have been stung on as well as insulting untrue affidavits and court orders adding insult to injury. I need to stay away from that place for my mental health as I suggest to many others. It is often quite crazy.

  33. JamesB says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it stitchedup, its now as if you have a major label on your head for a big crime. Unless you regard yourself that way perhaps.

  34. NickyD says:

    As with any thing there are people that will take advantage. However, DV escalates. I was subject to mental and emotional abuse. There was nothing I could do or say to prove it. The next women is getting the violence. BUT until he does something that can be proved there is nothing that can be done about it. I have moved on and I think if someone gets on a DV register then they must already be acting at quite a high level of DV. Actually it’s the mental and emotional abuse that lingers and takes it’s toll and you can’t do anything about that except get out of the situation and work through it. I now see another women caught in the trap I was in and there’s nothing I can do. I just hope she gets out alive.

  35. Stitchedup says:

    Actually James, I intend to fight this nonsense and expose it for what it is – anti-family, anti-male, feminist political propaganda. I will continue to fight it until there’s a change in the law or until my last breath, whichever comes first.

    This is not just about the subjects of bogus non-mols, there are genuine victims of domestic violence who are put at serious risk; their cries for help being drowned out by the noise created by the trivial and the gamesmanship

    I do indeed feel as if I have a major label on my head for a big crime; I feel this each and every time I have to declare the conviction on a job application. Despite there only being mitigating circumstances, no aggravating, I received a conviction, 250 hours community service, a fine, 1 year supervision and an indefinite restraining order that, like the non-mol, just forbids me from talking to my ex. There’s no restrictions on my whereabouts, whether I can be with x metres or anything of that nature….. Clearly the courts or the police have never considered I am a genuine risk to my ex otherwise there would have been other restrictions. Indeed the only time the police/CPS took any further action was when I as arrested for a breach of a non-mol secured in the civil courts.. for speaking for Christ sake!!!

    Please don’t assume that just because your non-mol was dropped all bogus non-mols are dropped. As I’ve already pointed out many times, this very much depends on the judge, what mood he or she is in, whether you had representation, whether you had time to prepare your case properly, your size, whether you have broad shoulders, whether your eyes are close together, whether you live in a crack down area etc etc…

    However, despite having a conviction for breaching the non-mol for talking to my ex without reasonable excuse, I can assure you I am not a violent domestic abuser.

    Not sure if I’m taking your comments the wrong way, but there appears to be a hint sarcasm. Perhaps travel restrictions are not any issue for you, for me they are a massive issue. During my career I have travelled extensively on business all over the world, this is how I have made my living. You tell me, is it fair to be denied a livelihood just for talking to somebody?????

    NickyD wrote: “if someone gets on a DV register then they must already be acting at quite a high level of DV”

    Do you consider talking to somebody to be quite a high level of DV??

  36. Stitchedup says:

    all you need to do is put together a signed affidavit stating how you feel you are being abused, state that you are in fear etc etc, fill out a few forms (occupation order and non-mol), and present them to a judge in the civil courts. You don’t have to prove anything as such, it will be a balance of probability decision, not a high hurdle to get over. However, if you keep a log of any behaviour you consider abusive or threatening, that might help your case.

    See the post from MooMoojuice in:


    “The process is fairly straightforward – the court listing officer is your buddy – you can do it yourself if you set out in bullet form points what is going on.”

  37. JamesB says:

    By my last post I meant :

    I wouldn’t worry about it stitchedup, its not as if you have a major label on your head for a big crime. Unless you regard yourself that way perhaps.

    That is advice I would do well to adhere to also. That there is no label on me but one I put on me. Any decent person would review a nonsense non mol with suspicion on its validity. It has no influence on financial settlements for example. I got to a stage in court where everyone was laughing at me and I was laughing at them, they are crazy places and try not to let them get to you. I will endeavour to try and take that advice also.

  38. Susan says:

    Actually I think this is a damned good idea. People should be allowed to ask if any potential partner has a history of violence or come to that, if they have a criminal record which involves any type of serious crime, i.e. armed robbery, drug offences might be two others.
    I don’t think that should include parking tickets or what one’s sexual inclinations are. We all have a right to privacy about our past. But our lives and what we do with them do affect other people, particularly those who may want a relationship with us.
    Go for it I say. It’s a wonderful idea all round.
    But violence is another matter.

  39. Stitchedup says:

    This all depends on what your definition of “Violence” and “Serious Crime” is.

  40. Stitchedup says:

    Just to put things in perspective for you Susan, below is an extract form an article on Jordan’s family law site:


    “I personally have experienced mixed responses from the police and other professionals dealing with a breach of non-molestation orders. Some police forces have arrested and charged respondents for texting the applicant to inform them they are running late for contact handover, as the order has stated no communication between the parties and this is a clear breach. In other instances the respondent has pushed the applicant aggressively, sent messages and been verbally abusive, and the police have not arrested the respondent.

    Do you really consider texting the ex to inform them you are running late for a contact handover to be a clear breach of a non-mol as the order has stated no communication between the parties??

    Do you think this offence should be reportable under Clare’s law???

  41. Stitchedup says:

    Another thing you may not be aware of Susan – non-molestation orders secured in the civil courts require no proof of violence or even an allegation of violence. So the author’s comment in the Jordans article – “This disparity does little to protect the victims who have been subjected to so much abuse that the protection of the Court through a non-molestation order has been necessary” – has no factual basis. No abuse or violence has to be proven to secure the non-mol in the first instance.

  42. Stitchedup says:

    So judges like to say a non-mol “does stop you doing something you shouldn’t be doing anyway” – eh like talking or texting to say you’re going to be late for a contact handover??!!!


    a “non-mol doesn’t affect you as long as you don’t break it” – apart of course from the massive stigma of being labelled a violent domestic abuser that is… as per the comment from the author of the Jordan’s article.

    What a despicable crime – texting an ex to say you’re going to be late for a contact handover!!! Such a clear breach of a non-mol!! send him to the gallows!!

    Yes…. all future partners should be informed to steer well clear of such an evil monster!!!

  43. Susan says:

    Have read the above replies. A person could enquire into a potential applicant’s past without saying anything to them.
    If they deem the partner is not suitable they could hopefully break it off drop them without that knowing they have been checked.
    If violence occurs it would have done anyway, but the more you get involved with a person, the more likely that is to occur.
    In fact we should be able to enquire into anyone’s past to see if they have a history of violence. Employers can do it, why not individuals? The person being checked does not have to know. Relationships could also come with a written agreement between the parties. If the terms of the agreement is broken then penalties could follow for the person who has broken the terms.
    That seems to make sense to me!

  44. Andrew says:

    Susan, are you familiar with the notions of “love” and “trust”?

    Partners and spouses are not employer and employee – and even employers cannot (except where CRB is needed) examine applicants’ criminal records.

  45. Stitchedup says:

    “Relationships could also come with a written agreement between the parties. If the terms of the agreement is broken then penalties could follow for the person who has broken the terms.” Are we talking marriage vows or pre-nups here??

    • Susan says:

      I think doing it for pre-nups would be a good idea. And anyone who had a history of violence should be required to report any relationship they have to their local police station, in the way some people on probation have to…

  46. Andrew says:

    People on probation are not required to report relationships – where did you get that idea from?

    The fact is that we all have to form our own judgments about the people with whom we become initmate, and we cannot outsource that responsibility.

  47. Luke says:

    “The subject of the enquiry MUST be told.”

    Actually I think there has to be consent – otherwise you have to say everybody has to have the right to know about everybody else’s record. This is so because as all relationships are equal anybody can ask about anybody and if it can be anonymous how can the Police query that – how can they know what is a ‘real’ potential relationship and what is not ?

    Of course if the person refuses to consent to the information being given out to the other party that is a big red flag – although I have to say if somebody asked for my information I would refuse on principle even though I have no record and that potential relationship would end.

    Basically this is really open to abuse and I don’t think it has been thought through at all.

  48. Susan says:

    I think only people with a conviction for violence should be required to report a relationship or whether they are now living with a partner. This shouldn’t apply to everyone in society – just those people who have a conviction for violence or have been cautioned by the police.
    That is not most people, only a relative minority. I feel sure it would deter such people from hurting any potential partner rather than encourage them to be violent.
    We now require sex offenders to register on a sex offenders register; why can’t we have a few extra rules for known violent offenders and ask them to register their relationships?

  49. Stitchedup says:

    Susan, what is your definition of a history of violence??

    Having a non-mol against you?
    Texting somebody?
    Having a disagreement about the selling price of the family home?

    Non of the above involve actual physical violence or proven abuse. Yet a man can find himself with a domestic violence conviction as a result of the above set of circumstances. How would you deal with this scenario under Clare’s Law???

    • Susan says:

      I think it depends. A non-molestation order or texting someone can be abused by stalkers. People who stalk and harass are guilty of a form of violence.
      Having a disagreement about selling a home shouldn’t come under the label of violence, unless you have beaten up the owners or threatened them with physical harm.
      It depends on the context doesn’t it, and how far people are willing to go.
      Physical violence, threats and stalking should definitely be covered by Clare’s Law. Mere disagreements or a family row should not, provided no one has ended up with bodily harm.
      Judges, police and courts need to practice some common sense.
      If you have found yourself with a conviction for violence when you actually haven’t hurt anyone that seems unjust!
      I am not going to ask about your circumstances so I am just making assumptions here.
      But you would expect the courts to act in a just manner.

      • Stitchedup says:

        I don’t mean to be offensive here Susan, but you appear to be blissfully ignorant with regard to the use and abuse of non-mols and the absurd catch-all definition of domestic abuse that is labelled as domestic violence.

        I’m not sure you’ve even picked up on the fact that there doesn’t have to be any allegations of violence, stalking etc to secure a non-mol. just a statement to the effect that you feel intimidated in some way or are in fear of potential violence etc etc.

        Non-mols are issued in the civil courts, there is no burden of proof, it is a balance of probability decision. Non-mols often come with non-communication orders so you can easily be convicted for having a disagreement with your ex about the selling price of the family home or texting her to say you are going to be late for a contact handover when having access to the kids. So ” Mere disagreements or a family row” can result in the breach of a non-mol and domestic violence conviction even though “no one has ended up with bodily harm.”

        “Judges, police and courts need to practice some common sense.” – Agreed, but you have to understand the political correctness and feminist lobbying that has come in to play in this area of the law.

        “If you have found yourself with a conviction for violence when you actually haven’t hurt anyone that seems unjust!” – I have and it feels incredibly unjust.

        “you would expect the courts to act in a just manner.” You would, but this is about politics not justice.

  50. Luke says:

    “We now require sex offenders to register on a sex offenders register; why can’t we have a few extra rules for known violent offenders and ask them to register their relationships?”

    Providing you are required to inform the person you are inquiring about then theoretically it can – but I doubt many relationships where that is asked for will survive – let’s be honest, who wants to be with somebody who thinks you are so suspicious that you need to be checked ?

    As for cautions – if you attach this to it then it will make the police job harder – people will become more reluctant to accept cautions if this became a widely used practice.

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