Essex Police have insisted the force has made a “dramatic improvement” in responding to requests under Clare’s Law – which allows people to learn of their partner’s criminal record.

Figures up to March last year from the time the law came in in 2014 show the force had only made 262 disclosures – equivalent to a rate of five per cent of the total number of requests received.

As a result, Essex Police changed the way they responded to requests in a bid to improve their response rate.

Since the change of approach in August last year, the number of disclosures to the end of December rose to a disclosure rate of 66 per cent.

Roger Hirst, the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “There is now a much-increased readiness to respond.

“There is certainly a new policy of declaring both spent and unspent convictions and sharing intelligence with those who inquire under the domestic violence disclosure scheme which is Clare’s law.”

Essex Police had been rated as the worst performing of all forces in sharing information to requests made under the legislation.

Mr Hirst said: “The figures, which measured up to March last year, show it was a poor performance in the period since the law came in in 2014. Up until then, we had only made around 262 disclosure.

“We have made 262 disclosures since the change in approach on August 1 last year to the end of December.

“In those few months we have moved from a five per cent disclosure rate to a 66 per cent disclosure rate.

“That is not yet where we wish it to be but it is a dramatic improvement in reaction to precisely the issue.”

Clare’s Law named after Clare Wood, a 36-year-old woman from Yorkshire who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend George Appleton in 2009 allows police to both disclose and proactively inform people of their partners’ criminal records and relevant past convictions.