New civil powers that help police protect victims of domestic violence are being used across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from today (Monday, June 23).
Officers can now apply for Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders to prevent further violence between partners.
The notices can be used in the aftermath of certain domestic violence incidents and can prevent someone from contacting their partner for 48 hours.
Police then apply for an order from a Magistrates court which can extend the same protection for between 14 and 28 days.
The constabulary’s lead on domestic abuse is Superintendent Ben Snuggs. He said the notices and orders will help save lives: “The new powers enable us and the courts to create valuable breathing space for victims .” (external link)
“We know that those at risk of domestic violence often find it very difficult to come forward to report it so it’s important that we take steps to protect them when they do.
“The notices and orders give them that added assurance and take the responsibility for doing something away from the victim because, in the right circumstances, they can be imposed without the victim’s consent.”
Protecting victims of crime
The legislation came into force nationwide earlier this year and was initially implemented in the force’s Western Area on May 19.
In a month since then, they have used six notices and successfully applied for six orders.
Supt Snuggs continued: “We’ve seen some really great results. For example, in situations that we’ve not been able to progress through the criminal courts because there’s not been sufficient evidence, we’ve still been able to do something positive to keep victims safe.
“And that’s what this scheme is about. It’s an additional power that in the right circumstances works to protect victims of crime.”
- Further information if you or someone you know is affected by a Domestic Violence Protection Notice or Order (external link)