Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs) in Devon
Devon has three specialist domestic violence courts (SDVC):
- Central Devon (Exeter Magistrates Court)
- North Devon (Barnstaple Magistrates Court)
- South Devon (Newton Abbott)
The purpose of these courts is to improve the criminal justice response in cases where domestic violence-related crimes are being discussed.
Our experience, since running them in 2006, is that cases are heard quicker; there are fewer victim retractions because victims are better supported throughout the process; and there has been an increase in successful prosecutions.
There are several reasons for these improvements:
- All court related staff (front of house, magistrates, victim support and witness care) have received specialist training
- The court sits on specific days/times to ensure that the relevant, trained staff will be presiding over these cases
- Specialist independent domestic violence advisors (idvas) provide support to victims who want it
- The relevant agencies meet regularly to discuss how to continually improve their services
Details on Devon’s three SDVCs
|Exeter (Central)||Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LS||All day Wednesday|
|North (Barnstaple)||The Law Courts, Civic Centre, BarnstapleEX31 1DX||Friday 12.00 noon|
|South||Newfoundland Way, Newton Abbott, TQ12 1NG||All day Wednesday|