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Public protection and violence against women and girls Helping forces to protect women and girls from violence

Weightmans leads from the front in advising, training and representing police forces on the tools available to combat violence against women and girls and to safeguard the public against crime and anti-social behaviour.

Our team are experts across the spectrum of preventative and protective orders and have pioneered new processes, systems and data to help the police protect the vulnerable and bring offenders to justice. Our specialist and dedicated police lawyers are leaders in the field when it comes to the armoury of legal tools available to the police to protect the public and combat violence against women and girls (VAWG).

Industry-leading expertise in:

  • Domestic violence protection notices and orders (DVPN/O)
  • Stalking protection orders (SPOs)
  • Sexual risk orders (SROs)
  • Sexual harm prevention orders (SHPOs)
  • Slavery and trafficking risk orders (STROs)
  • Slavery and trafficking prevention orders (STPOs)
  • Forced marriage protection orders (FMPOs)
  • Closure orders, both under the Sexual Offences Act a 2003 and the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
  • Anti-social behaviour injunctions (ASBIs)
  • Violent offender orders (VOO)
  • Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Orders (DDTROs)
  • Schedule 1 Protection of Children Act forfeiture proceedings (forfeiture of indecent images of children)

We help police forces at every stage of proceedings, from advising on the merits of an application (including which order is most appropriate on the facts and circumstances) to prosecuting breaches of orders that are not dealt with by the CPS. Our experts are on hand to ensure that your force makes best use of the available tools to protect the public and prevent violent, sexual, exploitative, and anti-social crime.

Every year, we provide important training to hundreds of front-line police officers and staff, as well as to senior leaders, decision-makers and authorising officers. We recognise the increasing pressures on individual officers’ time and so we work with police forces to help streamline their processes meaning less officer time spent on paperwork and sitting in court and more officer time spent proactively policing and protecting the public. Our streamlined and consistent processes allow uniformity of approach across force areas and a united and consistent approach to advocacy at court. It also enables accurate stakeholder, HMICFRS and FOI data reporting.

Our recent experience

  • Over 2,981 DVPOs and 240 Stalking Protection Orders obtained
  • We obtained the country’s first SPO on the very day the relevant legislation came into force
  • Obtained 408 closure orders
  • Obtained 395 sex offender orders
  • Acted for the Chief Constable of Surrey Police in the only senior court authority on DVPNs [R v Chief Constable of Surrey Police, ex p. Kerr]

We are constantly horizon scanning for developments and changes. We are currently looking at the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and the impending introduction of Domestic Abuse Protection Orders, and we are keenly observing the trial of Knife Crime Prevention Orders meaning that we will be ready, and help forces to be ready, from the moment new powers go live.

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