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16 June 2014, 10:25
A new scheme gives police more powers to protect victims of domestic violence.
From today, Norfolk police will be able to use Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders, to give victims immediate protection after a domestic abuse incident.
The orders can last between 14 and 28 days and means the person suspected of being violent can't contact the victim in that period.
Police first have to issue a notice if they think that a perpetrator has used or threatened violence towards the victim and the victim is at risk of future violent behaviour. Magistrates then decide if a Protection Order should be granted.
During a pilot scheme a total of 487 notices were authorised by senior officers resulting in 414 full orders being issued by the courts across police forces in Greater Manchester, West Mercia and Wiltshire.
This scheme comes two months after the implementation of Clare's Law across Norfolk, which allows people with concerns about their partners history to check their background information with police.
So far, Norfolk Constabulary have had 19 requests for information under the law with no disclosures.
Detective Chief Inspector Pete Hornby, Safeguarding lead for Norfolk Constabulary, said: "We are committed to supporting and protecting victims of domestic abuse and welcome any legislation that will assist us to do this.
"The idea of the orders is to give victims instant protection and breathing space to consider their next move.
"Domestic abuse has no barriers, it can affect anyone from any background regardless of age, gender or belief.
"We work with other agencies to provide the support needed to break the cycle of abuse for those affected by such terrifying experiences. It is about working together to offer long term support and not just ensuring victims and their families make it through the criminal justice process."
Stephen Bett, Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: "Supporting and protecting victims, including victims of domestic abuse, is a core priority for me.
"Anything which gives victims instant protection has to be a good thing. I am committed to working with partners to help safeguard vulnerable people across Norfolk and help break the cycle of abuse.”