Police in Cumbria are far more likely to tip off people about the violent past of a new partner than any other force in the country, new figures show.

Cumbria Constabulary disclosed information in 76 per cent of requests made under right to ask legislation - also known as Clare's Law.

This allows people to ask the police whether their new partner has has any previous history of domestic abuse.

A further 98 per cent of right to know requests were also granted, where a force takes proactive steps to inform someone about their partner's violent past.

In total, Cumbria Police made 226 proactive disclosures last year.

The new figures released by the Bureau Local, part of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, show large disparity in the way police forces across the country choose to handle the requests.

They reveal Cumbria Constabulary is nine times more likely to disclose information when asked than officers in Bedfordshire, despite both forces being of a similar size.
Even large forces in urban areas had a lower disclosure rate of Clare's Law than Cumbria including Merseyside Police where 46 per cent of right to ask applications were granted, and the Metropolitan Police in London where just 24 per cent of applications were approved.

Detective Superintendent Vicki Ellis said: "Cumbria Police take all requests for information under Clare’s Law incredibly seriously, requests are investigated on individual merit and information is disclosed where it is appropriate.

“We also take all reports of domestic violence extremely seriously.

"People who report domestic violence will be listened to and, where we are able to detect crimes, we will seek to bring offenders to justice."

Michael Brown is the father of murdered Clare Wood.

He campaigned for the introduction of Clare's Law to prevent other people from becoming the victim of domestic violence.

Mr Brown told Bureau Local he was “very disappointed” to hear that some police forces aren’t using the scheme the way they should.

“We didn’t run around for five years to get the law in place just for it to be ignored,” he said.

“Tackling domestic violence should be a priority but it seems like the message just isn’t getting down to some bobbies on the beat.”

He added: “Why there hasn’t been more take up I don’t know, maybe it is a lack of staff, but it seems like some police forces just don’t put domestic violence high up on the list,”

An joint investigation by CN Group and the Bureau Local revealed domestic abuse is one of the fastest growing crimes in Cumbria, now making up 13 per cent of all offences recorded.

It also found police have recorded four deaths and hundreds of rapes linked to domestic violence since 2010.

Data revealed just weeks after Cumbria's police force is criticised over murder of Carlisle mum

The latest data is published just weeks after Cumbria Police was criticised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over failings in the way it handled the case of Carlisle murder victim Melinda Korosi.

The 33-year-old mum-of-two had reported to police that her ex-partner Miklos Verebes had attacked and raped her just weeks after he was released from prison where he had served a sentence for battery in 2016.

Though he was arrested, Verebes was released before police completed their enquiries.

Verebes, who is now serving a life sentence, murdered Miss Korosi at her home a short time later.

IPCC investigators found two officers - a detective sergeant and a detective constable - had a case to answer for misconduct.

They were both disciplined by way of management action.