Step-by-step process of using the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Form

Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme Flow Chart 

Stage 1 - Application

You can apply in a number of different ways:

  • By going online.
  • Visit a police office.
  • Phone the 101 non-emergency line for the police.
  • Speak to a member of the police on the street.

It is important to remember that anyone can make an application to the police about an individual who is in a relationship with another person and there is concern that the individual may present a risk of harm to their partner.

Stage 2 – Initial Contact

The purpose of this stage is for the police to establish if there are any immediate concerns.

A police officer or member of police staff will contact you to discuss the details of your application and the nature of your relationship with your partner. You will need to give your name, address, date of birth & other details.

The police will run some initial checks based on the information you have provided and conduct an initial risk assessment. These checks will not be undertaken while you are present.

If when speaking to the police you report a crime has taken place - for example, if you say that you have witnessed someone hit their partner, then the police may investigate this as a crime and may arrest the partner. If the police believe that someone is at risk and in need of protection from harm, they will take immediate action.

No disclosure of information will take place at this stage unless it is necessary for the immediate protection of the potential victim.

Stage 3 – Face to Face meeting

This is to asses any risk and for you to provide proof of your identity.

Depending on the outcome of Step Two, you may be required to participate in a face to face meeting with the police. This meeting will be to establish further details about your application in order to assess any risk and for you to provide proof of your identity. This should comprise of a photo ID and another form of ID (if photo ID is not available, the police will consider other forms of ID).

Forms of ID that can be used are:

  • Passport
  • Driving License
  • Other trusted forms of photo identification
  • Birth Certificate
  • Household Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement

These documents must be originals. Unfortunately copies cannot be accepted.

The police will use this meeting to gather more information from you about the nature of the relationship between the person you are concerned about and their partner. They may also ask for further information from you on why you have made an enquiry under this scheme. The police will run more detailed checks and speak to other agencies including Social Work Services and Prison Service, based on the information you give them.

They will work as quickly as possible to complete the checks but, depending on the circumstances, some checks may take longer for the results to be received by the police. It is envisaged that the maximum time that it will take to complete the whole process, including these and the disclosure of information if decided necessary, is 45 days.

The police will act immediately if at any point they consider the potential victim to be at risk and in need of protection from harm.

Stage 4 – Multi Agency Meeting to Consider Disclosure

The police will meet with relevant partner agencies (such as Social Work Services, Prison Service, Domestic Abuse Advocates/Advisors) to discuss the information that you have given them, along with additional information the police may have received from the checks they have run, and any relevant information from the agencies they have talked to.

The multi-agency meeting will then decide whether any disclosure is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the person you are concerned about from their partner. If they decide to disclose information, they will decide who should receive the information and set up a safety plan tailored to the potential victims needs to provide them with help and support.

Stage 5 – Potential Disclosure

What kind of information you might be given

If the checks show that the individual you are enquiring about has a record for violent offences or there is other information that indicates there is a pressing need to make a disclosure to prevent further crime, the police may disclose this to the person who is most able to protect the victim.

It should be noted that details about a person’s previous convictions are treated as confidential and information will only be disclosed if it is lawful and proportionate, and there is a pressing need to make the disclosure to prevent further crime.

If the checks do not show that there is a pressing need to make a disclosure to prevent further crime, the police will tell you that. This may be because the individual does not have a record of violent offences or there is no information held to indicate they pose a risk of harm to the potential victim. Or it may be that some information is held on the individual but this is not sufficient to demonstrate a pressing need for disclosure.

It may be the case that the individual you are asking about is not known to the police for violent offences or there is insufficient information to indicate they pose a risk of harm to the potential victim, but they are showing worrying behaviour. In this case, the police or other support agency will work with you to protect the potential victim and can provide advice and support.