GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE PILOTS NEW POWERS TO BAN DOMESTIC ABUSERS FROM VICTIMS HOME
As of the 10th October 2011 the DVPOs are extended to cover the whole of the city of Manchester, Oldham, Salford and Bolton. Download DVPO leaflet here
Greater Manchester Police is today (30th June 2011) launching new police powers to protect victims of domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home.
Greater Manchester Police, together with West Mercia and Wiltshire Police, have been chosen to run a 12-month pilot that gives police new powers to give victims of domestic abuse the time, space and support to plan a safer future, by keeping the perpetrator away.
The Domestic Violence Protection Orders – also known as “go orders” – will allow senior police officers on three of GMP’s divisions, South Manchester, the Metropolitan and Oldham, to act instantly to safeguard families they consider a threat. The Orders will be used to intervene in cases where police are worried about violent behaviour within a household, but do not have enough evidence to bring a criminal charge.
Under the present law, only those arrested and charged with an offence can be barred from their home, either through bail conditions or by the victim seeking an order in the civil courts. The new measures will give police the power to ban violent abusers from their homes for between 14 and 28 days, allowing the victims to stay in their own homes rather than flee to a friend’s home, or a refuge, to escape their abuser. This will give them vital respite and give them time to consider their options. If abusers breach the Order it could then lead to a prison sentence.
As part of the scheme, victims will also be offered help and advice by caseworkers on the options open to them if they left the relationship – including securing a longer-term injunction. Abusers will also be given the chance to attend an offenders programme run by the Probation Service, helping to nip abusive behaviour in the bud and prevent any future incidents.
Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney of Greater Manchester Police said: “We are pleased to be one of the Force areas chosen to pilot the Domestic Violence Protection Orders.
“Everyone has a right to feel safe in in their homes and have a future without fear and these new powers will help save lives by reducing harm within the home. Nationally two women a week die due to domestic abuse and our aim is to reduce the harm caused by Domestic Abuse and help victims regain control of their lives and move forwards to secure a safer, happier future.”
*Annie, a victim and survivor of 30 years of domestic abuse from Greater Manchester, said: “The new police powers recognise that victims and their families need protection and have rights too. I was confused, traumatised and worn down by the drip-by-drip process of abuse over years. The new orders acknowledge the complexity and seriousness of domestic abuse. From my experience, it is unlikely that the ‘first reported offence’ is the first, and even if it is, without appropriate intervention, it won’t be the last. If things had been different years ago, I might not have spent years in purgatory believing the fault was mine.”
Joe Tumelty, Assistant Chief Executive, Greater Manchester Probation Trust, said:” Stopping the harmful behaviour of domestic violence offenders is more likely to succeed when there is a multi-agency response. To complement the DVPO scheme, Greater Manchester Probation Trust has recently launched a training course for domestic abuse perpetrators designed to challenge and change their behaviour. Called “Improving Relationships – Supporting Change” (IR-SC) it is a 12-session course aimed at men who have not been convicted of domestic abuse but have come to the attention of the police or other agencies for domestic abuse related incidents. It is intended that this course, which also separately provides support for the abused partner, will address the reasons behind the aggression . It requires men to understand what drives them to react violently and the impact of their behaviour on others. The combination of sanctions by the police, support for partners and treatment for the men, provides a comprehensive approach to reducing the likelihood of it happening again.”
Councillor Suzanne Richards, Manchester City Council’s lead member for women, said: “Victims of abuse often have to flee their own homes – sometimes taking their children with them – causing them even more distress while their abusers are able to remain in the comfort of their homes. I am confident these orders will help us turn this situation on its head and put more power into the hands of victims.
“No women in Manchester should have to put up with domestic abuse, and these orders will help in dealing with this serious issue.”
Cllr Jean Stretton Oldham Council Lead Member for Community Safety said: “Domestic Violence is unacceptable and victims often have to flee their homes. These orders will give a ‘breathing space’ so victims and their families can receive support and help in making decisions about their future. They send a powerful message to offenders that their behaviour is unacceptable”.
If domestic abuse is happening to you, or someone you know, please call the Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0161 636 7525 or visit www.endthefear.co.uk for help and advice.