Written 5th March 2014 by Olliers Solicitors

Greater Manchester Police are taking part in a national week of action to tackle domestic abuse (4th – 8th March 2014). During this week, officers will be targeting known offenders with the aim of bringing perpetrators of domestic abuse to justice. There will be an increase in police activity during the week and officers will be arresting these offenders and protecting their victims from future violence.

Domestic Violence

In the last year, GMP reports there has been a 1% increase in allegations of domestic abuse. Specially trained officers along with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) and the probation service will also be visiting victims of domestic abuse to provide them with help and assistance.

Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine, Head of the Public Protection Division, said:

“Tackling domestic violence is a priority for GMP all year round but this week of action allows us to highlight the work taking place with our partners to eradicate the region of these terrible crimes.

“Victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual assaults are some of the most vulnerable members of our society and we will be targeting known and persistent offenders throughout the week, utilising a range of powers in order to bring these people to justice and protect their victims.”

Clare’s Law

The public are also being reminded of the use of Clare’s Law which allows members of the public to enquire about their partner’s past if they suspect a violent past.

Greater Manchester Police have also been pivotal in the use of domestic violence protection orders. On 25 November 2013, it was announced that domestic violence protection orders would be rolled out across England and Wales from March 2014. This followed a successful 1-year pilot across 3 police force areas.

Domestic violence protection orders are a new power that fills a gap in providing protection to victims by enabling police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders

With DVPOs, a perpetrator can be banned with immediate effect from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need. Before the scheme, there was a gap in protection, because police couldn’t charge the perpetrator for lack of evidence and so provide protection to a victim through bail conditions, and because the process of granting injunctions took time.

However, many have criticised the powers which restrict the liberty of those who have not been charged with any offence, in many cases, as no complaint has been received. DVPOs can also be put in place where the alleged victim does not wish to make any complaint and, it is suggested, in some cases where no offence has taken place.

Happy Mondays singer Rowetta is supporting Greater Manchester Police’s week of action. She commented:

“Love isn’t meant to hurt. Love isn’t violent. Don’t stay for your children. Leave for your children. Leave for yourself. There is so much more help and understanding out there now than when I was suffering. Start a plan to leave and end the fear.”

Laura Baumanis

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