Domestic abuse victims will be given greater protection under a new scheme similar to an ASBO.
Thames Valley Police will have the power to prevent an alleged abusive partner visiting certain locations or people immediately after an alleged incident, otherwise they face arrest. A Domestic Violence Protection Notice will be imposed initially by police which will act like a temporary restraining order, stopping alleged attackers from going near the victim.
After this a Domestic Violence Protection Orders will be imposed at a magistrates’ court 48 hours later and can last for between 14 and 28 days. The order is a civil matter, similar to an ASBO, meaning police can take action if there is not enough evidence for a criminal charge.
The notices and orders can stop the attacker evicting or excluding the victim from a specified address and entering or getting close to a specified address.
An offender will be arrested if any of the conditions are breached.
Chief Inspector Emma Garside said: “These notices and orders give the police and magistrates the power to protect victims of domestic violence when there isn’t enough evidence to charge the perpetrator.”
Under current law, bail conditions cannot be imposed if there is insufficient evidence to charge someone with a violent crime.
This can mean a perpetrator could be free to return to attack their ex-partner again.
Victims will not have to write a statement or appear in court against their will for such orders.