The county’s police force has been rapped by the IOPC after staff responsible for disclosing a person’s history of domestic abuse did not have specialist training.

Wiltshire Police have been told they must “introduce specialist training for staff delivering specialist functions” by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), after an investigation which found the member of staff did not receive the recommended training.

The investigation also found the researcher did not have access to the Police National Database, and had been asking a colleague to carry out checks for them.

The staff member had been responsible for responding to applications under Clare’s Law, where members of the public are entitled to request from police a person’s history of abusive behaviour.

It comes after a previous investigation by the IOPC, in which the force decided to introduce a training package for the researcher, but this had been delayed due to the Covid pandemic.

“Our investigation found that by the time of our second investigation into the conduct of the Domestic Abuse Researcher, they still had not received any specialist training to their role, and had not received any training at all in two of the systems mentioned in their job description,” the report states.

College of Policing guidelines recommend that specialist training is delivered to those carrying out specialist roles, giving Clare’s Law, also know as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), as a specific example.

The investigation was launched after the researcher failed to identify any “relevant domestic abuse history”, the report states, resulting in a decision to make no disclosure. It does not state whether the decision was correct or incorrect.

But it goes on to say that the Decision Maker Record document, which records research and rationale behind decisions on whether to disclose information, was unretrievable “as it had been saved over when further research had been conducted at a later time, and therefore no full contemporaneous record of the original research and decision making could be obtained”.

The report continues: “It was noted during the investigation that Home Office guidance on DVDS stipulates that decisions made as a result [of] the scheme ‘must be recorded fully and in a format that would stand scrutiny of any formal review’.”

It concluded specialist training should be implemented to those in specialist roles, and staff in the public protection department should have access to relevant computer systems to “effectively carry out their functions”.

Responding to the report, a spokesperson for Wiltshire Police said: “This relates to a time when the Public Protection Department was dealing with a new system.

“Since this matter was raised by the IOPC all the relevant training has now been delivered and, both in PPD and within the wider Force, we are careful to ensure that all staff receive the training which is relevant to their role.”

Clare’s Law was brought in in 2014, and aims to provide information the could protect someone from becoming a victim of an attack.

It was named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.