AN increasing number of residents are using their legal right to ask the police if their partner has a history of domestic violence.

They are using the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, known as Clare’s Law, which was brought in by police forces in England and Wales in March 2014.

Clare’s Law is named after Clare Wood who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton in 2009.

Following her death and after five years of campaigning, Clare’s father Michael Brown managed to change the law to allow police to inform people of their partners’ criminal records and relevant past convictions.

From 2014 to 2021, the number of applications has tripled, while the number of disclosures has quadrupled.

Disclosure is allowed for any person who is in a position to benefit from the information to better safeguard themselves or their dependants.

It does not require you to be the current partner of the person you’re applying about.

Cheshire Police is promoting this fact with a new campaign, with posters being displayed in public sites including doctors and dental surgeries, hair and nail salons, pubs, clubs and wine bars.

They act as a reminder to those who are concerned about the possible dangers faced by their loved ones in an intimate relationship.  

The force says it has received more than 620 requests so far in 2022, with 220 disclosures made – almost 30 per cent of applications.

A disclosure is when information is shared, and this can help a person to make informed choices about whether and how to take a relationship forward.

However, when information is not shared, it cannot be assumed that there is no risk. If no reports have been made by previous partners of an offence, the incidents would not have been recorded.    

DCI Steve Littlewood, of Cheshire Police’s Public Protection Unit, said: “A former legal loophole made it possible for domestic abusers, or people with a prior record of violent or abusive behaviour, to conceal their background.

“This meant that their partners were more likely to be unaware of their past offences and put at greater risk of future harm.

“Clare Wood, who the law is named after, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend due to this lack of knowledge.

“It is encouraging to see the numbers of requests in the sense that more people are using the service in Cheshire, but I think there are still those out there who do not know about this right.

“In particular, that it applies to male and female domestic abusers and not just to partners and ex-partners.

“Making an application is a quick and easy process by filling out an online form on the Cheshire Police website or calling 101.  

“It is free and confidential, and we urge anyone out there who has concerns about someone to make that important step.

“It could help to prevent another victim of domestic abuse, which is why Clare’s Law was created.”

To request information under Clare’s Law, visit