Report recommends shift in priorities, ten years on from Clare’s Law

by | Jul 1, 2024 | 0 comments

N8 PRP Small Grant Holders have identified 5 key issues for the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

A new report from University of Liverpool’s School of Law and Social Justice, in partnership with University of Central Lancashire, examines ten years of Clare’s Law and the police handling of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS).

Researchers, Professor Sandra Walklate, Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology, and Dr Charlotte Barlow, Reader in Criminal Justice and Policy, identified five key issues in the police delivery of DVDS, based on 10-years of evidence and data collection.

Ongoing concerns related to the purpose of DVDS, role and motivations of different parties, data gathering, time for information disclosure, and information delivery.

Recommendations made to the College of Policing encouraged a shift in the purpose of DVDS towards safeguarding rather than the current focus of ‘protection and empowerment’. By prioritising victim-survivors’ voices, the findings suggest this will increase engagement with the criminal justice process.

Further recommendations were made to individual police forces, to also prioritise requests from the victim-survivor themselves, rather than a third party.

Speaking of the report, Professor Sandra WalklateDepartment of Sociology, Social Policy, and Criminology, shared:

“These recommendations aim to refine the DVDS process, making it more effective in safeguarding those at risk of domestic abuse. By addressing the identified issues, the College of Policing and individual police forces can enhance their approach, ensuring that DVDS serves its intended purpose more efficiently and sensitively. This effort requires a concerted, nationwide effort to transform the way domestic abuse cases are handled, ultimately providing better protection and support for victims.”

This article was originally posted on University of Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice News page, 19 June 2024. Link to the original article. 

Professor Sandra Walklate and Dr Charlotte Barlow have delivered 2 N8 PRP Small Grants – Who is the Victim? Identifying the Victim in Coercive Control Cases (2023), and Police responses to coercive control: Developing a ‘coercive control learning tool’ for police (2018).