No hiding place for domestic abuse offenders
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A month-long domestic abuse campaign introduced in order to lock up the county’s most prolific offenders is being strengthened with the help of Northamptonshire’s Special Constabulary.
Over the festive period, Special constables have been carrying out safeguarding visits to domestic abuse victims protected by Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs).
A DVPO is a civil order which provides protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates’ courts to put protective measures in place in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident, where there is insufficient evidence to charge. It can prevent an offender from returning to a property and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days. This allows the victim a degree of breathing space to consider their options with the help of a support agency.
A recent example of how this works happened recently when, during a safeguarding visit, a victim disclosed to officers an offender had breached their DVPO by texting her repeatedly.
Officers swiftly attended the 51-year-old man’s address in Desborough and arrested him. Two days later he appeared before magistrates and was sentenced to 28 days in prison – this is very nearly the maximum sentence allowed under this legislation.
The recent activity sends out a clear message from the courts and Northamptonshire Police that legislation will be used to the letter in order to protect victims of domestic violence, a devastating crime which shatters the lives of victims and their families, with children very often affected.
The key message to domestic abuse offenders continues to be this: Your festive gift from us is likely to be a knock on the door from a uniformed officer with a warrant for your arrest.
A specialist team of officers continue to work through a ‘most wanted’ list of those responsible for high-harm domestic abuse, stalking and harassment.