Our officers can now use protection orders for victims of domestic abuse following a successful pilot of the scheme in three force areas.
Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN)
Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO)
A spokesperson for Essex Police Public Protection Unit, said: “These protection notices and orders will give police new civil powers, allowing us to put in place protection for the victim in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident. They can be used where the perpetrator is cautioned, bailed without conditions but also where no further action is otherwise taken.
“They can bridge the gap in providing immediate emergency protection to the victim where there is an on-going risk of violence."
How it works
The legislation can be considered for use if violence has been used or threatened by someone over 18 and the level of the violence causes the attending police officer to fear for the on-going safety of the victim.
If the suspected perpetrator is arrested and taken to custody, as well as investigating any criminal offences identified, officers must also give consideration to the use of a domestic violence protection notice.
The notice informs the perpetrator of emergency provisions that are being placed on them by police which can include banning them from entering a house or harassing a victim, including making lots of phone calls or sending constant texts.
The notice is activated when they are released from custody if they are given a caution, bailed without conditions or where no further action is taken.
The perpetrator will also be informed that police will be seeking a full domestic violence prevention order (DVPO) in the next 48 hours and given a court date. If they fail to attend, the order will be heard in their absence.
The DVPO is then made by a magistrate who will consider the evidence and the restrictions being sought by the police at the time the initial notice was served on the perpetrator.
The full list of provisions can include prohibitions on the perpetrator:
- Molesting the victim
- Evicting or excluding the victim from a premises
- Entering the premises
- Coming within a certain distance of the premises
- Require a perpetrator to leave the premises
Once an order is granted the provisions will remain in place for 14 to 28 days, allowing the victim breathing space to consider their options, with the help of support agencies.
If someone breaches a notice they will be subject to immediate arrest and can then be remanded into custody to appear before a court for a full order to be considered.
If a perpetrator breaches an order, this will also mean immediate arrest, again being held in custody and placed before the court and can lead to a maximum fine of £5,000 or a two month prison sentence.
We see these orders as being an important addition in the early safeguarding of victims.