The introduction of orders which help to protect victims of domestic violence has been welcomed after Staffordshire police who have dealt with more than 3,000 calls this way.
Since police forces across the country started using domestic violence protection orders, there has been a significant drop in the number of incidents reported with an average of eight domestic-related incidents being recorded before an order was issued, dropping to an average of just two recorded incidents when the orders came into force.
Staffordshire police started using the orders in July 2014 and since then have secured 521 orders to help them prevent incidents of domestic violence.
This could mean more than 3,000 calls to the control room and then the subsequent officer deployments have been avoided since the orders began as the protection has been in place to reassure the victim.
Steph Alexander is the services manager for Staffordshire Women’s Aid. She said that the orders were a way of giving "breathing space" to the victims of abuse.
She said: "Staffordshire Women's Aid welcome any news that suggests that a local or national initiative has helped reduce the incidents of Domestic Violence, in this case the police serving of domestic violence protection orders.
"Since being introduced in July 2015 they are seen as a way of giving breathing space to those that are living with control, violence, fear and risk in their own home by excluding the abuser from the family home for up to 28 days.
"This news also further highlights the importance of specialist support services, like Staffordshire Women's Aid working in partnership to prioritise the emotional and physical safety of those suffering the abuse.
"In cases where victims would like support, specialist services can respond during this time, making safe contact, and this can be to offer specialist one to one support or accurate information and advice, to empower them to make choices for their futures."
Detective chief inspector Simon Brownsword, deputy head of safeguarding at Staffordshire Police, said: "Domestic abuse is a widespread issue, which affects all communities and transcends age, race, sexuality and social status. Domestic related incidents in their majority are not one-off incidents. Instead, they often involve a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, through which the abusers assume power over their victim.
"It is gratifying to see that domestic violence protection orders are helping to make a difference and hopefully reducing incidents of domestic violence as a result. Our first priority is the safeguarding of the victim and family and so we will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our response and offer the best support we can to the victim."
Domestic violence protection orders can only be granted by a magistrate and then by law requires a perpetrator to not contact the victim or return to the address where the victim lives or is staying, even if it is the perpetrator's home too, for 14 to 28 days. This can be done with or without the victim's consent.
However before a domestic violence protection order can be issued, a Domestic Violence Protection Notice must be authorised by a superintendent or someone of higher rank.
It exists for just 48 hours, but in that time the police can apply to the courts for a domestic violence protection order to extend the victim's protection if the police think it is necessary.