What is a Domestic Violence and Protection Notice and Order?
Recently, the police have been given further powers to prevent people arrested for domestic violence offences (but not charged and released) from contacting the victim or attend the victim’s address for a period of between 14 to 28 days.
A Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) can be issued by the police to provide emergency protection to a victim of domestic violence. The notice can bar the perpetrator from returning to the victim’s home (even if it is their own home). A notice can be served on anyone aged 18 or over who the police reasonably believe has been violent or has threatened violent against another person.
The perpetrator does not need to consent to the notice, nor is it necessary for the victim to give a statement.
Within 48 hours of a DVPN being issued, the police must submit an application to the Magistrates’ court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO). A DVPO may be imposed with whatever conditions the Court feel necessary to protect the victim. It serves as a ‘cooling off’ period during which everyone involved can consider their options and get the support they need.
Breach of an order can result in a maximum sentence of either £5,000 or 2 months imprisonment.
Recovery from domestic violence can be a daunting prospect. These powers can give a breathing space for the victim to take legal advice and for both parties to consider the future.