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Sunday, April 11, 2021

ACT Policing operation targets family violence

ACT Policing carried out its second multi-agency Family Violence intervention operation last week (25-26 September), conducting compliance checks on known family violence offenders.

Working with Domestic Violence Crisis Service, Child and Youth Protection Service, ACT Victim Support and the Office of Family Safety, ACT Policing members engage with and offer support to both offenders and victims.

Officer in Charge of ACT Policing’s Family Violence Unit, Inspector Sue Smith, said working with multiple organisations allowed for a wholistic approach towards family violence.

“Family violence is such a complex issue and no one agency can tackle it on their own,” she said.

“Sharing information means that we can know the whole story about a family and offer the best services for that family.”

ACT Policing members attended 65 addresses, found 34 offenders to be complying with their conditions and four in breach of their bail conditions.

A further nine perpetrators requested assistance of support services.

Inspector Smith said early intervention in family violence situations was critical for all parties involved.

“If we can prevent something happening in the first place, then that’s a great outcome for the person, the family and a great outcome for the first responders,” she said. 

“If we can get in at the earliest opportunity when things are just starting to go bad, we can put in services or referrals into place to stop it from going really bad.”

In 2019, there were 3,139 family violence incidents and 1,187 family violence related assaults reported in the ACT. As at the end of August 2020, there were 1,978 family violence incidents and 691 family violence related assaults.

ACT Policing are hoping to carry out a third multi-agency Family Violence intervention operation by the end of 2020.

Inspector Smith said the Family Violence Team conducted all family violence operations with a victim safety focus.

“The safety of victims and their children is the primary consideration in carrying out the operation, with partner agencies available to contact victims and offering assistance and support where required,” she said.

“Operations such as this highlight ACT Policing’s strong commitment to addressing family violence and collaborating with partner agencies to achieve these goals.”

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