Renee Pilcher

Vicious cycle of violence

DOMESTIC violence is believed to drain more than half of police resources in Gympie and other large police districts in Queensland.

In response to this growing problem, a partnership has been established between police and the local domestic violence network to try and break the cycle of violence troubling some Gympie households.

A special officer has been appointed for the Gympie Police District to manage new practices being implemented at the station to improve the way police respond to domestic violence matters, especially repeat offences.

Sergeant Tracey Warren is now responsible for liaising with welfare service providers and overseeing all incidents of domestic violence reported to police.

The aim is to intervene in the "cycle of violence" with preventive strategies and ensure the police response is appropriate, professional, consistent and ethical.

Police powers are limited when it comes to domestic violence matters, but they can facilitate early intervention to try and reduce this growing problem.

Violence in the household is a major drain on police resources with domestic violence listed as one of the main call outs for Gympie police.

"DV accounts for a large percentage of calls for service throughout Queensland," Officer in charge of Gympie station, Senior Sergeant Graeme Reeves said.

"Any reduction of DV is of major benefit to the community. Gympie police are therefore committed to reducing the occurrence of DV and we have implemented new management practices to review all police responses."

A partnership between police and domestic violence networks in Gympie has resulted in the forming of Cooloola Partnership Against Domestic and Family Violence.

Meetings are held monthly, with the first resulting in the development of a number of aims for the group. These include:

To significantly reduce the incidence and impact of domestic and family violence.

To raise community awareness through education, seek funding and resources to co-ordinated responses in dealing with complex issues.

To implement and maintain communication between service providers and police.

The partnership is expected to enhance inter-agency collaboration, communication, information and case management. Administration support will be provided by Suncoast Cooloola Outreach Prevention and Education.

"We are implementing strategies to promote early intervention in the 'cycle of violence' and through assistance with other members of the DV network will provide victim support, preventing repeat calls for service," Snr Sgt Reeves said.

DID YOU KNOW?

Domestic violence has only recently been taken seriously. Pressure on law enforcement to treat domestic violence as a serious crime resulted in a large drop in the homicide rate in the last decade.

Gympie Times


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