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Domestic Abuse: Disclosure of Information

Home Office written question – answered on 2nd March 2020.

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Photo of Mark Hendrick Mark Hendrick Labour/Co-operative, Preston

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timescale is for reviewing and updating the guidance on the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme; and whether she plans to introduce a (a) monitoring process to ensure that applicants are correctly assessed as being at immediate risk of harm and (b) standardised procedure across all police forces in England and Wales to protect potential victims from harm.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

Domestic abuse is a devastating crime and the Government is committed to doing everything we can to tackle it.

The Domestic Abuse Bill includes proposals to place the guidance underpinning the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS, also known as “Clare’s Law”) on a statutory footing. The guidance is currently under review and will be issued after the Bill gains Royal Assent, to coincide with commencement. We plan to make a draft of the statutory guidance available for Lord’s Committee Stage.

As part of this review, we are working with police and the College of Policing to consider the issue of the timeliness of disclosure and effective safety planning, in particular where there is an identified risk of harm to the applicant.

Placing an express duty on police to have regard to the revised guidance is intended to improve its consistent application across all police forces.

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