From 8 March 2014, the Domestic Violence Disclosure scheme was implemented across England and Wales.

Under the scheme any individual can ask the police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. This known as the ‘right to ask’.

If records show that any individual may be at risk of domestic abuse or violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so.

In some instances, certain agencies and other professionals are entitled to know the history of certain individuals. This Right to Know enables an agency to apply for a disclosure if the agency or professional believes that an individual is at risk of domestic abuse and or violence from their partner. Again, the police can only release information if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.