On 30 June 2012, the domestic violence protection order (DVPO) provisions operating in the West Mercia, Wiltshire and Greater Manchester police force areas were extended for another year.
The domestic violence protection order (DVPO) pilot closed on Saturday 30 June 2012, but all three police forces will continue the scheme for a further year while the Home Office evaluates the pilot to assess whether or not a change in the law is needed.
Under the scheme the police and magistrates can protect a victim when they are at their most vulnerable, in the immediate aftermath of an attack, by preventing the perpetrator from contacting the victim or returning to their home for up to 28 days. This helps victims who may otherwise have had to flee their home and gives them the space and time to access the support they need and to consider their options.
Previously, there had been a gap in protection for victims of domestic violence due to either the police being unable to charge the perpetrator due to lack of evidence (meaning that the protection available to a victim through strict bail conditions could not be applied) or the process for granting longer-term injunctions taking several days or weeks to apply for. DVPOs are designed to bridge this gap by empowering the police and magistrates to issue an immediate order to ban the perpetrator from returning home or making contact with the victim for up to 28 days.
The Home Office has commissioned an evaluation of the pilot to capture lessons learnt and explore the implications of DVPOs for victims, perpetrators and criminal justice agencies, which is expected to report in late summer 2013.
Pending the evaluation reporting in late summer 2013, interim guidance to support DVPOs is availble.
For further information about DVPOs, please email: VAWGEnquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk