Family Court Proceedings
Police involvement in Family Court Proceedings
The Police become involved in Family Court Proceedings either following an Order being made against the Chief Constable seeking disclosure of information or when the Police seek information from the family court to assist an on-going investigation.
All Court Orders and requests from Family Court Proceedings must be sent to the SPOC in the force which is Information Management.
Orders which are generated from Public law proceedings must be sent to: [email protected]
Orders generated from Private Law Proceedings must be sent to: [email protected]
The Process of disclosure in Family Court
The 2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model often referred to as “the protocol” sets out the procedure for information sharing between partner agencies.
Please ensure the requests for Police Disclosure are submitted in line with the West Yorkshire Police Disclosure Protocol below. This was first implemented in 2016, and has been updated following the 'Lancashire Judgement' in 2019 by HHJ Hayes.
To improve the efficiency in the processing of Police Disclosure within court proceedings, please ensure only relevant incidents and materials are requested for disclosure and that an effective use of Annex D and H requests is utilised in accordance with the West Yorkshire Police Disclosure Protocol. Annex D requests can only be used in Local Authority proceedings.
Please note an Annex H with over 15 occurrences requested for disclosure could be viewed as excessive and result in a C2 application.
Please see the Annex D and directed Annex H templates below.
If the information is no longer required, please advise West Yorkshire Police at the earliest opportunity.
Following receipt of the Annex D request or ‘catch all order’ the Police will provide a summary of relevant information which may be disclosed to all parties as per the West Yorkshire Police Disclosure Protocol. The information will include a SEV print; which will be limited to Crime Offender Records and Safeguarding Records. Safeguarding Records refer to any sexual offences or domestic violence incidents.
An SEV print is a Single Enterprise View and can provide an index of occurrences across multiple sources. This is essentially a summary of information held about the parties by the Police, allowing the solicitors to then identify the further occurrences required by applying the appropriate relevancy tests.
The ‘Crime Offender Records’ section provides summary information of where the party has been an alleged offender. The ‘Nominal Role’ will identify the parties’ stage in the investigation and charging process, i.e. suspect, charged or eliminated. The ‘Status’ refers to the crime outcome code of this occurrence. The ‘Crime Notes’ refers to the Modus operandi of the crime.
The ‘Safeguarding Records’ section provides summary information of where the party has been involved as a suspect, witness or victim for a domestic or sexual offence occurrence. Under the ‘Involved Persons’ the bracket prior to the individuals name will identify their involvement in the occurrence, for example the person reporting.
Please see the link below for guidance on the counting rules for recorded crime, including information on the crime outcome codes.
Cost recovery fees
Please note West Yorkshire Police seeks to recover costs in Private Family Law cases. No work will commence until cost recovery fees are received.
Please see the National Policing Guidelines on Charging for Polices Services for information on the services for which the police force is entitled to recover costs.
Please see the below regarding the changes to the cost recovery fees for Private Family Law disclosure requests with effect from 1st May 2022.
Please see the Home Office guidance to check if you can get legal aid.
Finding a Solicitor
For help in finding a solicitor please go to: https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/
If you're dealing with a foreign national and need to know their overseas conviction history, you'll need to make a request via ACRO. For further information, please see the link below.
Page last reviewed April 2022.