Wakefield Police have made their first use of a new power to protect victims of domestic violence within just days of it becoming law.
Officers secured a court order to protect a victim of abuse, using new Domestic Violence Protection Orders, on Friday.
The legislation only became law on June 2 and police will use them as part of a package of measures to support and protect victims of domestic abuse during the World Cup.
Police can apply for the orders to be put in place at magistrates court and once in place they legally prevent an alleged perpetrator from returning to the home or having any contact with the victim for 28 days.
This then allows a victim a level of breathing space to consider their options and get the necessary help and support from the relevant agencies.
If a suspect approaches the victim and breaches the conditions police have a power to arrest them immediately.
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Gayles of Wakefield CID, said: “Domestic violence is an extremely emotive and sensitive issue and it is one we are squarely focussed on tackling particularly as the World Cup, which often see’s a rise in offending, is due to start.
“The new DVPO’s are very useful powers which provide extra protection for victims and we will be doing all we can to seek and use them within Wakefield.
“A notable feature of the new orders is the 28 day window they provide in preventing contact between suspects and victims.
“Quite often we find victims will call police but then change their minds about pressing charges so this ‘breathing space’ can only be useful in giving them the time and space they need to consider their options and seek support.”
DCI Gayles said Wakefield police were committing a number of extra resources to tackling domestic violence during the World Cup including having extra numbers of specially trained officers on hand to assist victims.
Other measures will include more dedicated patrols in and around town centres during the tournament and patrols by a special ‘domestic violence car’ staffed by police and social services professionals.
DCI Gayles said: “We are determined to do everything possible to protect victims of domestic violence and want to make it very clear that inflamed passions and excess alcohol on match days are no excuse for violent behaviour.
“A special car staffed with multi-agency professionals will be on duty to respond to these incidents and we will have extra officers in the town centre on match days and will act quickly to take hold and deal with any incidents.
“Those who feel they may be at risk of being victims of domestic violence can contact West Yorkshire Police on 101. If it is an emergency and you feel you are in immediate danger then ring 999. A national domestic violence 24 hour helpline can also be called on 0808 2000 247.”