Domestic Violence Protection Notice

At Lovell Chohan Solicitors we have considerable experience in dealing with domestic violence protection notices and orders.

The police have powers to issue emergency notices to an alleged perpetrator when attending a domestic violence incident under section 24 – 33, crime and Security act 2010. A domestic violence protection notice (DVPO) can exclude a perpetrator from the property and prevent the perpetrator from contacting or molesting the victim. A D VPN can last for 48 hours, during which time an application to the magistrates court for a domestic violence protection order (DVPO) must be made.

Power to issue a domestic violence protection notice

(1)A member of a police force not below the rank of superintendent (“the authorising officer”) may issue a domestic violence protection notice (“a DVPN”) under this section.

(2)A DVPN may be issued to a person (“P”) aged 18 years or over if the authorising officer has reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a)P has been violent towards, or has threatened violence towards, an associated person, and

(b)the issue of the DVPN is necessary to protect that person from violence or a threat of violence by P.

(3)Before issuing a DVPN, the authorising officer must, in particular, consider—

(a)the welfare of any person under the age of 18 whose interests the officer considers relevant to the issuing of the DVPN (whether or not that person is an associated person),

(b)the opinion of the person for whose protection the DVPN would be issued as to the issuing of the DVPN,

(c)any representations made by P as to the issuing of the DVPN, and

(d)in the case of provision included by virtue of subsection (8), the opinion of any other associated person who lives in the premises to which the provision would relate.

(4)The authorising officer must take reasonable steps to discover the opinions mentioned in subsection (3).

(5)But the authorising officer may issue a DVPN in circumstances where the person for whose protection it is issued does not consent to the issuing of the DVPN.

(6)A DVPN must contain provision to prohibit P from molesting the person for whose protection it is issued.

(7)Provision required to be included by virtue of subsection (6) may be expressed so as to refer to molestation in general, to particular acts of molestation, or to both.

(8)If P lives in premises which are also lived in by a person for whose protection the DVPN is issued, the DVPN may also contain provision—

(a)to prohibit P from evicting or excluding from the premises the person for whose protection the DVPN is issued,

(b)to prohibit P from entering the premises,

(c)to require P to leave the premises, or

(d)to prohibit P from coming within such distance of the premises as may be specified in the DVPN.

(9)An “associated person” means a person who is associated with P within the meaning of section 62 of the Family Law Act 1996.

(10)Subsection (11) applies where a DVPN includes provision in relation to premises by virtue of subsection (8)(b) or (8)(c) and the authorising officer believes that—

(a)P is a person subject to service law in accordance with sections 367 to 369 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, and

(b)the premises fall within paragraph (a) of the definition of “service living accommodation” in section 96(1) of that Act.

(11)The authorising officer must make reasonable efforts to inform P's commanding officer (within the meaning of section 360 of the Armed Forces Act 2006) of the issuing of the notice.

Contents and service of a domestic violence protection notice

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)A DVPN must state—

(a)the grounds on which it has been issued,

(b)that a constable may arrest P without warrant if the constable has reasonable grounds for believing that P is in breach of the DVPN,

(c)that an application for a domestic violence protection order under section 27 will be heard within 48 hours of the time of service of the DVPN and a notice of the hearing will be given to P,

(d)that the DVPN continues in effect until that application has been determined, and

(e)the provision that a magistrates' court may include in a domestic violence protection order.

(2)A DVPN must be in writing and must be served on P personally by a constable.

(3)On serving P with a DVPN, the constable must ask P for an address for the purposes of being given the notice of the hearing of the application for the domestic violence protection order.

Breach of a domestic violence protection notice

(1)A person arrested by virtue of section 25(1)(b) for a breach of a DVPN must be held in custody and brought before the magistrates' court which will hear the application for the DVPO under section 27—

(a)before the end of the period of 24 hours beginning with the time of the arrest, or

(b)if earlier, at the hearing of that application.

(2)If the person is brought before the court by virtue of subsection (1)(a), the court may remand the person.

(3)If the court adjourns the hearing of the application by virtue of section 27(8), the court may remand the person.

(4)In calculating when the period of 24 hours mentioned in subsection (1)(a) ends, Christmas Day, Good Friday, any Sunday and any day which is a bank holiday in England and Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 are to be disregarded.

Domestic violence protection orders

Domestic violence protection orders (DVPOs) are civil, preventative orders created by sections 24 to 33 of the Crime and Security Act 2010, which came into force on 8 March 2014 after trials in several areas.

DVPOs are designed to give immediate protection to those considered to be in need and enable the police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident. A DVPO prevents a domestic violence perpetrator from returning to a residence and having contact with the victim for between 14 to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need.

A DVPO is made pre-charge and often before any criminal complaint or application for an injunction is made by the victim (section 27, Crime and Security Act 2010). A DVPO should not take the place of bail conditions but provide protection where a vulnerable person might not otherwise have the immediate protection of the law following violent behaviour.

A magistrates' court can make a DVPO without the consent of the person who will be protected.

DVPO application procedure

A DVPO application is made by way of complaint by a police constable.

A magistrates' court can make a DVPO if the following conditions are met:

  • It is satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the perpetrator has been violent towards or has threatened violence towards, an associated person (that is, a person who is associated with the subject of the DVPO as defined by section 62 of the Family Law Act 1996).
  • It considers that making a DVPO is necessary to protect the person from violence or a threat of violence from the perpetrator.

Before making a DVPO, a court must also consider:

  • The welfare of any person under 18 whose interests the court considers are relevant.
  • Any opinion of which the court is made aware of, relating to:
    • the person for whose protection the order would be made; and
    • any other associated person who lives in the premises.

A custodial sentence not exceeding two months may be imposed if the DVPO is breached (section 63, Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980).