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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme was introduced in 2012.

The scheme has two elements to it:

‘The Right to Ask’ where any concerned person, (current partner, family member, professional person or next door neighbour) can make enquiries to the police about a current relationship if they have concerns about a person.

‘The Right to Know’ – where the police are in receipt of information about a previously violent individual who may cause harm to another, proactive consideration will be given as to whether a disclosure is required, where necessary, to protect a potential victim, even where the person who they are seeking to protect has not asked for such information

If a concerned person contacts North Yorkshire Police under the Right to Ask scheme, we would collect the relevant information to allow an initial assessment to be conducted, to determine if there is any immediate risk.

The information is shared with the Domestic Abuse Team and more detailed checks are carried out. The applicant enquirer would be visited to confirm ensure their identity and ascertain what their concerns are and why they are making an application.

On completing these checks the decision is taken as to whether disclosure can be made and who it can be made to. If a disclosure is made, this is usually delivered alongside an Independent Domestic Abuse Support Worker from IDAS. If no disclosure is made, the applicant is made aware of this. Where relevant we may liaise with other agencies who may hold information that would assist in risk assessment and disclosure.

The decision to disclose is made on a number of points such as level of risk to the new partner, level of risk to the applicant (if not the partner), if there are children involved, the information we hold and if in all the known circumstances it is necessary, lawful and proportionate to make a disclosure in order to safeguard a person from harm.

Speaking about the scheme DI Karen Warner, Safeguarding Officer said:

“Protecting vulnerable people is a key priority for North Yorkshire Police and we have built up excellent working relationships with our partner agencies to ensure we provide the best service we can to support victims and their families.”

“This is one of a number of options availabe to us in order to protect vulnerable people from further harm. Not only can a concerned person make an application, the police also have a positive duty to proactively make a disclosure if we believe it is necessary to safeguarding a person.”