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The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004, introduces new powers for the police and courts to tackle offenders whilst ensuring that victims get the support and protection they need. The Act received Royal Assent at the end of 2004 and will have a significant impact on existing law and practice. Implementation of the Act will be rolled out in stages from April 2005.
The new Act creates a number of important provisions including: the breach of non-molestation orders becomes a criminal offence;the creation of a new offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult; the establishment of domestic homicide reviews; common assault becomes an arrestable offence; there are new procedures to deal with multiple offending; a new statutory code of practice for Victims is introduced; and a new Commissioner for Victims is introduced.