Police gear up for domestic violence

MORE domestic violence officers have been assigned to the Coffs/Clarence region after police identified this area as a domestic violence hot spot.

In the year ending September 2008, the Clarence Valley had 157 confirmed incidents of domestic violence, which is almost one every second day.

Police Minister Tony Kelly said the State Government was determined to reduce incidents of domestic violence in NSW, and police were at the frontline in dealing with this issue.

There is now one domestic violence officer based at Grafton and one at Coffs Harbour.

In the past year, 12 extra domestic violence officers have started work across the State. Another eight will start this year, with 15 scheduled to start early next year.

The officers are trained to deal with domestic violence victims and offenders.

Mr Kelly said new operational guidelines, procedures and training had also been introduced to ensure victims were safe in their homes.

Guidelines included a new pro-arrest policy, victim information cards, better protection for children at crime scene, and improved management of Aboriginal family violence issues.

“The new procedures will be carried in every police car responding to domestic violence, and every police officer will have a check-list in their notebook,” Mr Kelly said.

“Early access to support services provides victims with security and gives them real time access to the help they need when they need it most.”

A spokesperson for the Victims of Crime Assistance League, Howard Brown, applauded the boost in domestic violence officers.

“The great bonus of these police officers is that they provide an early intervention to prevent the escalation of these horrendous acts,” he said.

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