ACT tackles family violence

Article image - ACT tackles family violence Minister Burch, CPO Rudi Lammers and members of ACT Policing’s new Community Safety and Family Violence teams.

Two new policing teams have been established to tackle family violence in the ACT.

The teams are part of a Whole of Government approach to family violence, and will build on reforms under the Crimes (Domestic and Family Violence) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 recently introduced into the Legislative Assembly.

These reforms include an enhanced ability for police records of interview to be admitted as evidence in chief for family violence and all sexual offences.

ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services Joy Burch and Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers announced the creation of the teams last week.

“In support of the ACT Government response to domestic and family violence, ACT Policing will be making a number of changes to its operational structure and will create a Community Safety team and a Family Violence team,” Ms Burch said.

The Community Safety team will have a broader role looking at recidivist management, targeting of hot spots and putting in place actions designed to reduce the fear of crime and its impact across the community.

The team will have a particular focus in supporting frontline officers investigating family violence crimes at the local level and assisting victims to progress through the judicial system in order to protect their safety.

The Family Violence team will undertake a coordination and training role, ensuring the frontline response by ACT Policing to family violence matters is timely, consistent and comprehensive.

Their activities will involve working closely with external stakeholders to ensure the best outcomes are achieved.

“The ACT Government and ACT Policing are committed to preventing family violence in our community, with victim safety and offender accountability remaining a core focus of our response,” Ms Burch said.

Chief Police Officer Lammers said that the new teams will support a pro-intervention approach to families suffering violence through an enhanced review and coordination effort that will direct ACT Policing’s family violence response and investigations.

“Creating a dedicated capability with an increased focus on family violence within ACT Policing will improve the strategic coordination of operational responses to family violence incidents. This will enable ACT Policing and our partner agencies to better manage family violence incidents right across Canberra,” Chief Police Officer Lammers said.

The response to family violence will continue to be conducted by highly trained frontline police officers, with enhanced training delivered to those frontline members.

Existing training ensures police officers have a thorough understanding of family violence dynamics and the resources at their disposal to provide intervention actions to improve victim safety and hold offenders accountable.

Additional training will ensure all frontline police are prepared to deliver the significant reforms provided by the Crimes (Domestic and Family Violence) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015.