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Domestic violence intervention trial

A new scheme that will allow the police to prevent suspected domestic abusers from returning to a victim's home is being piloted over the next twelve months.


The trial will give Greater Manchester, West Mercia and Wiltshire police use of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), which officers can use to stop perpetrators from contacting victims or returning to their home for up to 28 days.


The scheme is based on a two-step process:


* Where the police have reasonable grounds for believing that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour, they can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice on the spot to prevent the perpetrator from returning, provided they have the authorisation of the Superintendent.


* The magistrates' court must then hear the case for the Protection Order within 48 hours of the Notice being made. If granted, the Order may last between a minimum of 14 days and a maximum of 28 days. This will strike a balance between immediate protection for the victim and judicial oversight.


"Domestic violence is an appalling crime which sees two people a week die at the hands of their partner or ex-partners, while millions more suffer years of abuse in their own homes," said Minister for Equalities Lynne Featherstone. "This pilot scheme is designed to protect victims in the short term and give them the breathing space to consider their next steps, including longer term protection through a civil injunction application."

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