Essex Police success with domestic violence orders

Crime / Wed 28th Jan 2015 at 11:01am

ESSEX Police has now helped secure the safety of more than 200 women and men by using new legislation to protect them from the risk of domestic violence.

Superintendents in the force have authorised the use of Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) in 239 cases where reports have been received of domestic related incidents.

There has been insufficient evidence to charge suspects in these incidents with a crime but officers have had still had enough concern about the safety of the victims that they have put in place DVPNs.

The notices can order the suspects to leave the premises where the incidents occurred, prevent them from entering the homes of the alleged victims and stop them from making any further contact with them, as well as further provisions.

A total of 226 of these applications have then gone to court, within 48 hours, where Magistrates have also approved the imposition of a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) in 209 cases.

These DVPOs then endorse the initial restrictions for a further 14 or 28 days.

Adam Hunt, head of Legal at Essex Police, said: “It’s great that we have been able to maintain the early momentum we had around the use of this legislation. It is also very heartening to see that we have managed to keep our success rate around our applications so high.

“Very early on we realised we would need a special team of legal officers to handle all of these cases and that approach has paid dividends.

“We will continue to put together the best possible case to protect vulnerable women and men using this legislation.”

Domestic violence protection notices and orders give police new civil powers which originate from the Crime and Security Act 2010. Essex Police have been making use of the legislation in Essex since June 1, 2014.

They allow the police to put in place protection for victims in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident. They are generally used where no further action can be taken in relation to alleged offences.

The legislation can be considered for use if a domestic incident occurs and violence has been used or threatened by someone over 18 years of age and the level of the violence causes the attending police officer to fear for the on-going safety of the victim.

The notice informs the perpetrator of emergency provisions that are being placed on them by police.

The notice is activated when it is served on the perpetrator. The perpetrator does not have to be in custody or have been arrested for a DVPN to be authorised or served.

The DVPO is then considered by a Magistrates court – once an order is granted the provisions allow the victim a level of breathing space to consider their options, with the help of support agencies.

Det. Chief Inspector Tom Simons, of Essex Police public protection unit, said: “These orders can bridge the gap in providing immediate emergency protection to a victim where there is a risk of violence but a criminal case cannot proceed. Not only do the orders safeguard vulnerable people but they also give them a chance to get additional help and support to find a way out of their situation.

“If someone breaches a notice they can 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.”

Since introducing DVPOs 13 men have also been sent to prison after breaching the terms of their orders.

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2 Comments for Essex Police success with domestic violence orders:

2015-02-03 06:39:09

I hope the innocent 6 17 people sue the police for unreasonably restricting their civil liberties. Like non molestation orders I believe these will be misused in order to access legal aid in the family courts.

2015-02-03 06:44:11

I hope the innocent 17 people sue the police for unreasonably restricting their civil liberties. Like non molestation orders I believe these will be misused in order to access legal aid in the family courts.

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