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Clare’s Law failing in Wiltshire led to people harmed

Wiltshire Police has completed a review into how it handled 3,582 Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme requests in the eight years and five months to August 2023.

“We’ve identified 25 failures in our service. Of this, we know of two failures which have resulted in people being harmed,” the constabulary said.

Four cases have been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), including one where a staff employee remains suspended from duties and is the subject of an IOPC investigation.

Of the other identified failures, the constabulary believes 11 are administrative and 12 are service failures, namely where it should have disclosed but did not, or where inadequate research was done.

Chief Constable Catherine Roper said: “We let many people down and we now know that our failures may have contributed to at least two people being harmed. I am so sorry.”

Addressing Wiltshire’s residents, she added: “I ask again for your trust and urge you to come forward if you have any concerns or information regarding people at risk of domestic abuse.

We have put more scrutiny in place than we’ve ever had into both the ongoing review but also the team who are assessing new Clare’s Law applications.”

An additional, potential failure in the police force’s service happened towards the end of 2023, which may have contributed to another person being harmed. That case has also been referred to the IOPC, bringing the total to five.

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