Police in Staffordshire say the introduction of orders to protect people from domestic violence has resulted in a significant drop in the number of incidents reported after an order is issued.
According to research conducted in partnership with Staffordshire University on Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), once an order has been issued the number of reports of domestic violence in a case reduces by up to 75%.
On average, before a DVPO was issued, there were eight domestic-related incidents recorded. After a DVPO was issued, there was an average of just two recorded incidents.
Police started to use DVPOs from 1 July 2014 and since then they have secured 521 to help prevent incidents of domestic violence. This could mean over 3,000 calls to the control room and then the subsequent officer deployments have been avoided since DVPOs began as the protection has been in place to reassure the victim.
The report said it confirmed there was a direct link between the issuing of a DVPO and a "significant reduction" in the number of calls from those involved after the order was issued. However the report also conceded that a reduction in calls is no guarantee that the abuse has reduced or stopped.
A DVPO can only be granted by a magistrate and then by law requires a perpetrator to not contact the victim or return to the address where the victim resides, even if it is the perpetrator's home too, for 14-28 days. This can be done with or without the victim's consent. However before a DVPO can be issued, a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) must be authorised by a Superintendent or higher. A DVPN exists for just 48 hours, but in that time they can apply to the courts for a DVPO to extend the victim's protection if we think it is necessary.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Brownsword, Deputy Head of Safeguarding at Staffordshire Police, said: "Domestic abuse is a widespread issue, which affects all communities and transcends age, race, sexuality and social status. Domestic related incidents in their majority are not one-off incidents. Instead, they often involve a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, through which the abusers assume power over their victim(s).
"It is gratifying to see that DVPOs are helping to make a difference and hopefully reducing incidents of domestic violence as a result. Our first priority is the safeguarding of the victim and family and so we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our response and offer the best support we can to the victim."
The report, called 'Tracking the Outcome of Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) in 2014-15', was produced in partnership with Staffordshire University.