Convictions released under new domestic violence scheme

  • 17/12/2015
Convictions released under new domestic violence scheme

The Government is launching a new disclosure scheme to help increase the safety of family violence victims.

It comes a day after the officer in charge of Mei Fan's murder investigation admitted we need to do more to protect victims of abuse.

Ms Fan's estranged husband Michael Preston was sentenced to a minimum period of 19 years jail for her brutal murder yesterday.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Jane Drumm says the death was a "classic case" of control.

The new scheme will make it easier for police to disclose a person's violent criminal past to a concerned partner or friend.

It's the latest in what the government claims is a raft of improvements and services available to prevent or reduce serious harm from family violence.

"There have been too many cases where concerned family and friends haven't been able to find out whether someone they know or live with has a history of family violence," Justice Minister Amy Adams says.

"This is a practical, potentially life-saving initiative that aims to increase the safety of people in a relationship with potentially violent partners.

"It will help people make informed choices about whether, or how, they continue the relationship."

The Official Information and Privacy Acts already allow police to disclose such information.

The scheme, which is based on a British scheme known as Clare's Law, allows people to ask police about a person they are in a relationship with if they have concerns about their safety.

Police will consider disclosing information on a case-by-case basis if it is legal and necessary to protect the potential victim.

Where there is a serious threat to the safety of a partner or their children which requires urgent action, the information request will be considered and the decision communicated within 24 hours.

Other disclosure decisions will be made and communicated within 20 working days of the application.

Requests can be made in person to an officer at a police station or by calling police.