Police made 102 domestic violence protection notice (DVPN) applications in Darlington and County Durham last year, it has been revealed. 

Of these, magistrates’ granted 82 domestic violence protection orders (DVPO)- that’s a 47 per cent increase in DVPN applications made in 2022, and an 80 per cent increase in DVPOs.

Civil orders are helping police to protect victims of domestic abuse from further harm.

Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) and Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) were rolled out across all 43 police forces in 2014.

They are civil orders that provide immediate protection for domestic abuse victims in the aftermath of an incident where there is insufficient evidence to charge the perpetrator.

Once issued, the orders can ban perpetrators from returning to a residence and prohibit any form of contact with the victim for up to 28 days.

The orders are proactively monitored by police officers who will arrest perpetrators if they are found to have breached their order and put them before a court.

Punishments for breaching an order include custodial prison sentences and fines. Last year, Durham Police arrested 40 perpetrators for breaching their DVPN/O last year, with 11 custodial sentences given.

The force has two dedicated DVPO officers. They came into post in July last year and their role is to identify cases where a DVPO can protect the survivor, assist in the court process to obtain the orders, and to ensure the orders are policed effectively.

Detective Chief Inspector Lee Blakelock, the force’s lead for violence against women and girls, said: “Domestic abuse in any form is unacceptable - nobody should have to suffer at the hands of another.

“Our role as police officers is to protect vulnerable people and help keep them safe from harm, and we will use all powers available to us to do this.

“DVPOs and DVPNs are a hugely important tool for us which have the potential to save lives. They also give victims the space to think and consider their options without the influence of a perpetrator, and with the support of specially trained experts.

“Where there is insufficient evidence to charge a perpetrator with any offences, we do not simply close the case – we actively push for these civil orders to safeguard vulnerable people.

“The introduction of our dedicated DVPO officers has helped us to increase our use and monitoring of these orders, and ultimately protect more survivors from domestic abuse.”

If you are suffering domestic abuse, you are not alone – there are people who can and will help you.

Call 101, or 999 if you are in immediate danger.

Reports can also be made online by clicking here.

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If you don’t want to speak to the police, there are other helplines available: The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.

The local service, Harbour, is also available 24 hours a day on 03000 20 25 25.

The above services support both men and women.