Manchester

Police extend Domestic Violence Protection Orders

New police powers to bar domestic abusers from their partners' homes have been extended across Greater Manchester following successful trials.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) force offenders to leave residences and stay away from victims.

More than 180 of the orders were issued in North and South Manchester, Oldham, Salford and Bolton over the past year.

The orders are being tested by the Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia police forces.

Det Supt Phil Owen said the DVPOs would help save lives, adding: "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."

Victims offered support

The magistrate-granted orders ban people who have committed domestic violence from contacting their victims or entering their home for a period of time, with those who breach the rules sentenced to up to six weeks in prison.

Before they were introduced, the victim would be moved away from the home to safety as police could only ban offenders from their homes if they had been arrested and charged with a crime.

The DVPOs allow police to intervene where they believe a person to be at risk, but do not have enough evidence to bring a criminal charge.

As part of the scheme, victims are offered help and advice from support workers, and abusers are given the chance to attend a voluntary offenders' programme.

A 64-year-old woman, who was granted a DVPO after suffering abuse from her partner for 21 years, said it had changed her life.

The orders will now be trialled across the county for a further 12 months.

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