Cambs Police Launch Domestic Violence Scheme
CAMBRIDGESHIRE Constabulary has launched a cutting-edge scheme to tackle domestic violence. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV), which allows victims to bring injunctions against their abusers more quickly, was launched by Chief Constable J
CAMBRIDGESHIRE Constabulary has launched a cutting-edge scheme to tackle domestic violence.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV), which allows victims to bring injunctions against their abusers more quickly, was launched by Chief Constable Julie Spence on Friday.
The initiative provides victims with quick access to legal support and court assistance from solicitors. This will typically involve assisting people to apply for an injunction at a county court.
Currently, police officers can recommend that victims contact a solicitor in order to seek an injunction, but the whole process can take up to three or four days and is generally only available to those who are eligible for public funding.
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However, the NCDV makes the service more efficient and injunctions can be obtained in 24 hours, providing reassurance for victims.
This is particularly useful where an alleged abuser has been given court bail and swift action is required. Under the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act, the breach of a non-molestation order (an injunction) is a criminal offence, attracting a potential prison sentence of up to five years.
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Detective Chief Inspector Steve Selves, from the force's public protection department, said: "This is a huge step forward for victims of domestic violence, who will be provided with rapid legal advice and support through the court process.
"More importantly, it will provide free legal advice to those living within our community who have no recourse to public funds.
"The centre provides reassurance to victims that action is being taken to protect them and it raises confidence in the justice system. The indications are that it will also result in less people withdrawing allegations through fear."
The NCDV was launched in London in 2002 by barrister Steve Connor and it is now a registered charity.
Mr Connor said "Domestic abuse is a cowardly and horrific crime that affects all sectors of society. I'm confident that by standing together in Cambridgeshire we will send out a message that this crime will not be tolerated any longer and everything will be done to bring any perpetrators to justice."
Police encourage victims to contact the NCDV, where an operator will put them in contact with a local representative.
Several other forces have already started using the scheme, including Surrey, Cheshire and Sussex, but Cambridgeshire will be the first in the eastern region.