Police chief backs ‘Clare’s Law’ in battle against domestic abuse

Domestic violence
Domestic violence

East Dunbartonshire’s police chief says he would welcome the introduction of Clare’s Law to the area in a bid to combat domestic abuse.

The controversial provision allows police to proactively inform women that their current partner has a history of violence against their partners.

It is named after Manchester woman Clare Wood who was killed by former boyfriend George Appleton who had a string of domestic abuse convictions.

Earlier this week, Scotland’s justice minister Kenny McAskill announced two regional Clare’s Law pilots in both Aberdeen and Ayrshire.

Chief Inspector Rob Hay hopes the policy will eventually be rolled out in East Dunbartonshire.

He said: “Nationally, 50 per cent of all murders have a domestic context to it. We have to get our approach right because it is potentially murder prevention.

“We take every opportunity to use the most stringent measures we have against the most high-risk offenders.

“Once we get this opportunity, there are certainly offenders here against whom we would be keen to make this kind of proactive disclosure because of the level of risk they present.”

Clare’s Law has already sparked consternation in some circles over concerns it would interfere with an offender’s rehabilitation.

However, Mr Hay added: “When it comes to balancing Clare’s Law with the rights of those suspected offenders, for me, I would always err on the side of public safety.

“That may provoke a few complaints, but at the end of the day I’d rather be investigating a complaint than a murder.”