Domestic Violence Protection Orders

Alongside the disclosure scheme, from March 2014, the police and magistrates in England and Wales will also be able to issue Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs). These can be issued where there is insufficient evidence to charge a perpetrator and provide protection to a victim via bail conditions. A DVPO can prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim a level some time to consider their options, with the help of a support agency. Following a pilot in Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia police force areas, DVPOs will be available across England and Wales from March next year.

How it works

The two-step process:

  1. On being called to an incident of domestic violence, if the police have reasonable grounds to believe the victim remains at risk of domestic violence, they can choose to issue an emergency non-molestation and eviction notice – the Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN). Because the DVPN is a police-issued notice, it is effective from the time of issue, thereby giving the victim the immediate support they require in such a situation. The issuing of a DVPN requires police authorisation at Superintendent rank or above.
  2. Within 48 hours of the DVPN being served on the perpetrator, an application to a magistrates’ court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order must then be made by the police and heard by the Magistrates court. Sundays and public holidays are excluded from this 48 hour time limit. The DVPN continues in effect until the court has reached a decision. If the court rules that the victim requires continued protection, then they may issue a DVPO which would last for a minimum of 14 days, to a maximum of 28 days.