helenchamberlainA police superintendent who works in the area of public protection has called for greater transparency in information sharing to win over the hearts and minds of the public.

Speaking earlier this week at a multi-agency information sharing event in central London, Superintendent Helen Chamberlain welcomed the government’s move to step up efforts to publicise the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), colloquially known as Clare’s Law. Clare's Law, allows people to find out whether their partner has a violent or abusive past. It is named after Clare Wood from Salford was murdered in 2009. She had complained to police about her partner George Appleton being abusive to her before her death.

Chamberlain, who is the Head of Public Protection for Nottinghamshire Police, said that if the public is made aware that they have the right to know and the “right to ask” if their partner, or a friend or neighbour’s partner, has a violent past, then this will hopefully reduce the number of women being brutally murdered by their partners.

She also called for greater transparency in multi-agency information sharing in cases of domestic abuse. She questioned whether in such cases, there is a clear understanding of what happens to the shared information, especially when children are involved.

She made the point that victims of domestic abuse can’t always safeguard themselves or their children. She referenced the recent Daniel Pelka case where there were allegedly 27 domestic abuse incidents reported to the police. If there has been greater transparency of information sharing and the mother had been given support, then perhaps the outcome would have been different.