Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) were introduced just over two years ago. Since then, 96% of the orders that North Yorkshire Police have applied for at court have been granted – providing vital protection to vulnerable victims of domestic abuse.
Police can serve a DVPN to a domestic abuse offender in the immediate aftermath of violence, with or without the support of the victim. The notice enables police to require a violent individual to leave the home or environment of the victim and prevents the offender from contacting the victim in any way for an initial period of 48 hours.
The 48 hour window of emergency protection then enables police and support services to assist the victim to assess their options and make decisions about their long term safety and take any further steps necessary from a protection point of view.
The time period also enables the police to apply to a magistrate’s court to take the next step to enact a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO).
A DVPO provides the same level of protection for the victim and prohibits the actions and movement of the offender, but extends the timescale of the order for up to 28 days. DVPOs can be applied for and issued without the consent of the victim, if the police and magistrate believe that the victim is at risk. There is no requirement for the victim to be present at court when a DVPO is applied for.
If either DVPN or DVPO are breached the police have the power to arrest the offender and take them into custody. The offender is then put in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of the breach. For breaching the order the offender faces a penalty of up to £50 fine per day for every day in breach and/or two months in prison.
Speaking about the legislation, DCI Allan Harder from North Yorkshire Police Safeguarding unit said:
DVPNs and DVPOs are critical pieces of legislation that enable police to take immediate and vital safeguarding steps to protect vulnerable victims of domestic abuse. They provide some safe breathing space where the victim can engage with support services and be assisted in making key decisions about their future.
The DVPN and DVPO process runs alongside any criminal proceedings that are being taken against the offender, but provides instant protection to victims to take them out of the risk of harm.
Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) Director, Karen Hill said:
DVPN/Os are a really useful protection for victims. The police are able to take this course of action without consent, therefore reducing the responsibility, fear, blame and possibility of repercussions for the victim. It also allows time for agencies like IDAS to offer victims support and information which can prove to be a lifeline.
IDAS offer confidential support and advice to anyone affected by domestic abuse and to people who are concerned for a friend or family member. Our helpline is available 24/7 and our outreach teams can provide one to one and group support to ensure people experiencing domestic abuse are kept informed and safe whatever their choices. Our helpline is available on 03000 110 110.