More protection offered to domestic abuse victims

LANCASHIRE Constabulary is offering more protection to victims of domestic abuse than ever before with the introduction of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs).

As of Monday 28 July 2014, the court-issued orders along with Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) will allow officers in Lancashire to act fast to protect victims following an incident.

The new legislation is being introduced following a successful pilot scheme by a number of forces across the country.

Detective Superintendent Sue Cawley, head of Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit, said: “These new Protection Notices and Orders are a very welcome addition in our armoury in supporting victims and helping to keep them safe.

“The provision of a notice, followed by a successful application for a court order, will allow victims a respite period where they will have the opportunity to work with professionals and review their options for their future.”

The legislation can be used when a domestic incident occurs and violence has been used or threatened by an adult and the level of violence causes an officer to fear for the on-going safety of the victim.

Police will consider issuing a notice when an arrested person is released from custody and they are given a caution, unconditionally bailed or no further action is taken against them.

When somebody is issued with a DVPN, which is valid for 48 hours, it will prevent them from making contact with the victim and living at the same address as them throughout the period of the notice.

During the 48 hour period, the police will then apply to the court for a DVPO and can impose other restrictions for between 14 and 28 days. If the order is breached, the person can be arrested and kept in custody to appear before the next available court.

Detective Superintendent Cawley added: “Feedback from the national pilot schemes have shown numerous benefits to victims. Victims are able to live without fear, as well as re-contacting family members who they had lost contact with due to their abusive relationship.

“By introducing these orders we hope to send a clear message that we will not tolerate domestic abuse and that by supporting victims and working with our partners we will make Lancashire a safer place.”

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