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Police to roll out domestic abuse protection orders
10:06am Wednesday 5th March 2014 in Echo News
NEW protection orders will be implemented by Essex Police for victims of domestic abuse.
The Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Prevention Orders (DVPO) are being rolled out across England and Wales following successful pilots in three force areas.
Essex Police plans to have the scheme up and running by early summer.
Det Insp Nick Burston, of Essex Police public protection unit, said: "These protection notices and orders will give police new civil powers which originate from the Crime and Security Act 2010.
"They will allow 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.”
The legislation can be considered for use if a domestic incident occurs and 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 then, 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 such as by 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 Magistrates court - it 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 and coming within a certain distance of the premises.
It can also require a perpetrator to leave the premises Once an order is granted the provisions will remain in place for a period of 14 to 28 days, allowing the victim a level of breathing space to consider their options, with the help of support agencies.
Det Insp Burston said: "These provisions can bridge the gap in providing immediate emergency protection to the victim where there is an on-going risk of violence.
"If someone breaches a notice they will be subject to immediate arrest and can then be remanded in custody to appear before a court for a full order to be considered. A breach of an order 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 and will be working towards implementation as soon as possible.”
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