Domestic abusers could be banned from returning to their family home for four weeks under a new initiative being introduced by Northamptonshire Police.
In a bid to provide better protection for victims of domestic violence, Northamptonshire Police will be using Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO), which prevents someone suspected of carrying out an assault on their partner from returning to a residence or having contact with the victim for up to 28 days.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Lingley, head of public protection, said the new orders would give the victim immediate protection and “time and space to evaluate their situation” following a domestic abuse incident, particularly when there is insufficient evidence to press charges.
Mr Lingley said the new orders built on the work of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), launched three months ago, which allows people to make inquiries about a partner if they are worried they may have been abusive in the past.
Northamptonshrie Police are currently receiving, on average, two requests per week for disclosures.
Mr Lingley said: “These new orders offer another level of protection and are designed to provide victims with immediate safeguarding after a domestic abuse incident, allowing them breathing space to consider their options and seek advice and support.
“First and foremost we want to bring offenders to justice and protect the most vulnerable. When all other avenues have been exhausted and the case doesn’t meet the threshold for criminal proceedings these orders give us greater powers to protect victims.”
The new orders would be heard at magistrates’ court and the defendant would be given the opportunity to appeal against the order. The final decision would be made by a magistrates bench or a district judge.
Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds said: “I welcome the launch of DVPOs to our county; they are wholly victim-focused and along with the DVDS they demonstrate that we are making huge progress in improving the way we deal with domestic violence and protect the vulnerable.”