A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, July 18, 2011

Clare's law for all?

Hazel Blears ready for action
I've heard about the idea of Clare's law, which is an idea to have legislation named after Clare Wood from Salford, who was strangled and set on fire by her former partner after meeting him on Facebook. The murder was a disgusting act by a violent man. But is a law based on inquiries and information a good idea?

Firstly most people behind this are suggesting it is for women to find out about new boyfriends. Hazel Blears is in on the action as she's the MP for Salford. No mention of violent women from Hazel. Some men might wish to avail themselves of a check up on a new partner. But is all this necessary? I get the impression it's very much like the paedophile nonsense, with a huge quango making vast sums out of information that is virtually worthless. Any paedophile knows that it's one strike and you're out. Not many of those arrested were known to the police before. So how will this be different with violent people?

I grant that George Appleton, the murderer of Clare Wood, would have been highlighted on a warning system, but most domestic violence goes unreported. What of the violent people without a criminal record? Where do they fit into the plans?

Does Hazel Blears want a new quango set up? Will it be staffed with many all searching through the records of everyone? And what constitutes violence? Does it have to be within a domestic context or is any public disorder offence included? Threatening behaviour, maybe. At a student rally against fees?

The saying is that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I fear that we could end up with a lot of men being inquired about, found to be "clean" and then information gets twisted and changed. There could be women just making the odd inquiry for little or no reason. Who pays for an inquiry into a potentially dodgy partner? There is a lot at stake for people if this idea ever got off the ground and things went wrong.

Has Hazel Blears thought it all through? Tory MP Robert Buckland has it about right when he says, "We’re all in favour of curbing violence against women but we have to be certain this will not lead to fishing expeditions by women demanding confidential information about potential boyfriends without proper justification."


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