Clare’s Law: Requests about domestic violence history of new partners in Doncaster increases

The number of requests from Doncaster made to South Yorkshire Police about previous criminal convictions of new partners had dramatically increased over the last few years.

Clare’s Law, often known officially as a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or similar, designates several ways for police officers to disclose a person’s history of abusive behaviour to those who may be at risk from such behaviour. It is intended to reduce intimate partner violence.

Since January 2019 to March 2022, there have been 1,014 requests.

In 2019, there were 164 but this jumped to 373 and 374 in 2020 and 2021 – a 56 per cent increase.

Amy-Leanne Stringfellow was a former soldier who was fatally beaten and stabbed in June 2020 by her ex-boyfriend while he was on bail for assaulting her previously. Amy-Leanne lived in Doncaster and was 26 when she died.

By the end of March 2022, the force had received 103 requests. If figures continue at a similar pace, it will surpass the 374 in 2021.

Five women died in Doncaster in just a seven-week period in June 2020 and led to subsequent murder investgations.

Of the five cases, foul play was ruled out in three at subsequent coroner’s inquests while another delivered an open verdict.

But Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, aged 26, suffered fatal injuries in an attack from Doncaster man Terence Papworth, who died in prison last November while waiting to stand trial over her murder.

An inquest heard the much-loved mum and Afghanistan veteran was brutally attacked and left dead on a bed by her controlling boyfriend while he was on bail for assaulting her and threatening to kill her.

Documents showing the Clare’s Law stats do not directly link the incidents to the uptick but requests are shown to increase from 2020 – a few months after her murder.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Forber: “Clare’s Law requests allow the police to make disclosures to victims about the previous offending of their partner.

“These take the form of; ‘A Right to Know’; where a disclosure is initiated by the police where they believe people may be at risk of domestic abuse from a current partner and ‘A Right to Ask’; where a person can request information about the risk they may face from a current partner.

“These disclosures allow people to make informed decisions about how to either safeguard themselves or allow agencies to support them with safeguarding. Doncaster continues to see the use of these higher than other districts in South Yorkshire.”