Communications between the Wiltshire Police Chief Constable and the Police and Crime Commissioner are shared for the interest and benefit of communities within Wiltshire.

Dear Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson,

This week, I informed our communities of a significant service failure relating to Clare’s Law disclosures handled by Wiltshire Police.

As I outlined publicly yesterday, we’ve commissioned an urgent review into approximately 3,500 applications made to us since April 2015.

Having already reviewed a small number of these applications, we know Wiltshire Police has failed to disclose information which could have protected those most at risk from domestic violence.

For this, I am truly sorry.

Following conduct referrals from our organisation, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has determined that they will independently investigate these allegations.

However, we are in constant consultation with the IOPC regarding a number of additional concerns we’ve subsequently identified. I am certain we will be making additional conduct referrals as our review continues.

We have allocated dedicated resources to review all Clare’s Law applications made to us between April 2015 and August 2023 – including those where disclosures were made.

Where we feel there is any risk to any individual, we will be attempting to contact the applicants.

I continue to ask our communities to trust us, accepting that we’ve already identified a failure in our service.

We have put more scrutiny in place than we’ve ever had in this area of our business.

Our communities can read my full statement and access important information regarding this matter, here.

At the start of my tenure, I made a simple commitment to our communities that we would increase our transparency on both progress made against the service improvements required but, also, when we have made mistakes.

Inside the organisation, I have been unequivocal with colleagues – this is a catastrophic failure in our service and, under my watch, I will do everything I can to make sure that this will never happen again.

Across the last few weeks, I have been holding in person sessions with more than 800 members of staff – giving them the opportunity to hear directly from me on my expectations when it comes to standards of service and the drastic improvements we need to make to our culture.

I know that the vast majority of our officers, staff and volunteers are committed to improving the service we provide to our communities so yesterday’s news will deeply affect them – as it has me.

However, we must all remain resolute that our focus is on protecting those most vulnerable from harm and identifying those perpetrating violence.

With your support – and working to your Police and Crime Plan – I will ensure the grip, governance and accountability required to make sure we are Keeping Wiltshire Safe.

Kindest regards,

Catherine Roper

Chief Constable, Wiltshire Police