Page 4132 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 December 2022

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MR GENTLEMAN: I thank Ms Orr for the question, and for her interest in safety for Canberrans. Considerable effort has been made across government to tackle family and domestic violence. In particular, I want to acknowledge and thank the Deputy Chief Minister for her nation-leading work. ACT police are working in partnership with a range of agencies and partners across government. These include Child and Youth Protection Services, Domestic Violence Crisis Service and Victim Support ACT. This partnership encompasses daily collaboration and regular meetings. All of this has helped better support victims-survivors, as well as develop strategies to hold perpetrators to account.

ACT Policing informs me that in relation to family violence incidents, they take a pro-charge, pro-arrest stance, and presumption against bail where evidence exists that a criminal offence has been committed. In addition to this stance, ACT Policing’s family violence orders liaison officers play an important role in supporting victims-survivors of family violence. This includes assisting victims-survivors to obtain court orders when they do not wish to be supported by another agency in applying for the order; providing a link between the police response and the application for court-initiated family violence orders; and representing the ACT police for court-initiated family violence orders.

MS ORR: Minister, what else does ACT Policing have in place to support victims-survivors?

MR GENTLEMAN: In addition to the initiatives I described in my previous answer, ACT Policing, also has a family violence unit. The FVU reviews all ACT family violence incidents, and triages accordingly. The FVU coordinates a response, where appropriate, to support a victim-survivor, and any further action required for the victim’s safety after the initial crisis response by police. The FVU prioritises family violence incidents through a risk assessment, repeat calls for service, and the professional opinion of police officers. As well as this, the FVU participates as a key partner in the family violence safety action program, chaired by Victim Support ACT. The program enables agencies to meet regularly, share information, and develop strategies to support high-risk, high-needs victims-survivors, and hold perpetrators to account.

I am also informed that the FVU has worked with ACT Policing intelligence to develop a family violence intelligence profile to assist front-line members in understanding the complex contextual issues surrounding certain victims-survivors. The operational response by ACT police to family violence ensures that the victim-survivor and perpetrator-focused family violence model is employed through the family violence early intervention program. Last financial year, this intervention program made 303 referrals to support agencies.

So I do want to thank ACT Policing for its efforts and the ongoing work to tackle this important issue, along with their collaboration with partners across government and non-government sectors.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, what other programs and initiatives does ACT Policing have to support Canberrans?

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