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New help for domestic violence victims success

More than 50 calls have been made to a new scheme in Cambridgeshire which allows victims to bring injunctions against their abusers more quickly.

The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) launched in Cambridgeshire on May 30. The initiative provides victims with quick access to legal support and court assistance from solicitors.

Since the launch over 30 injunctions have been obtained, a process which before the initiative could have taken up to four days. The NCDV makes the service more efficient and injunctions can be obtained in 24 hours, providing reassurance for victims.

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Selves, from the force's public protection department, said: "The scheme is proving a real success with over 50 calls from victims in the county, more than 30 of whom have been able to obtain injunctions to protect them from their abuser.

"This demonstrates the need for this service which has been a huge step forward for victims of domestic violence, who are now able to get faster legal advice and support through the court process."

The NCDV was launched in London in 2002 by barrister Steve Connor and it is now a registered charity with offices across the country. The service is free to those who have no recourse to public funds. Police encourage victims to contact the NCDV, where an operator will put them in contact with a local representative.

The system is free because the legal advisors are either trainee solicitors or barristers, who are grateful for the unpaid experience, or are qualified experts who are volunteering their expertise.

Several other forces have already started using the scheme, including Surrey, Cheshire and Sussex, but Cambridgeshire will be the first in the eastern region.

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