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First Domestic Violence Protection Orders granted in Bridgend

Police in Bridgend have successfully taken out their first new banning orders to protect the victims of domestic abuse.

Last week officers from Bridgend were granted new power to ban a suspect from returning to their own home if a victim and children are believed to be under threat. Previously it was the victim and children who had to leave the family home.

The Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO) was issued on 10th July 2014 by magistrates in Bridgend after an application by Bridgend officers. A second application for DVPO was then issued by Bridgend magistrates on 11th July 2014.

The new process builds on existing police measures, providing immediate emergency protection for a victim, giving protected space for them to explore the options available to them and make informed decisions regarding their safety.

The notice can be authorised by an officer or Superintendent rank or above and the case will be presented before magistrate within 48 hours of it being served. If magistrate decide to authorise a DVPO the order can last between 14 and 28 days. In conjunction with the issuing of a DVPO the police will also refer the victim to Victim Support. Victim Support will then contact the victim to conduct a needs assessment to see what help and support they require. Where specific needs are identified they will put them in touch with an independent domestic violence adviser.

Chief Inspector Jason James explained: “Sometimes domestic violence is reported to us but there is insufficient evidence to bring a charge, at least this gives the victims breathing space of up to 28 days. Sadly in the past it was the victim and their children who had to move to keep them safe. Thankfully that may not be the case now”.

“In the past the suspect has been released without any restrictions, now domestic violence protection notices can be authorised by a Superintendent before a suspect leaves custody. This can result in banning the suspect from the victim’s address, or the area around it”.

The first DVPO was granted on 10th July 2014 against a 46 year old male. The order runs for 28 days and is a result of an alleged domestic violence incident.

Inspector Justin Evans added: “DVPOs are an emergency measure to protect victims from immediate violence and our officers are being encouraged to use the new orders and notices as and when appropriate. This change is a powerful new step to help police protect victims”.

The new Domestic Violence Protection Orders comes after the introduction of Clare’s Law which is a scheme that allows police to disclose historic information about violence. The DVPO is intended to protect families from becoming new victims of attack.

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