Page 3757 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 28 October 2015

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The team will coordinate the existing mechanisms and responses to family violence to ensure that the restraints on offenders are appropriate and that offenders are held accountable. The community safety team will have a broader role of recidivist management, targeting of hot spots, managing major issues, and reducing the fear of crime and its impact. The community safety team will have a particular focus on supporting front-line officers investigating family violence crimes and assisting victims in order to protect their safety.

The team will identify and assist vulnerable families and at-risk families, providing earlier intervention by assisting victims who are applying for domestic violence orders. The team will also provide coordinated targeting of high risk offenders, particularly those who are on bail, parole or on orders to ensure their accountability.

Both the community safety and family violence teams have been drawn from existing ACT Policing personnel. They represent the breadth of our community policing, with officers skilled in response, investigations, victim welfare, legislation and policy reform, and intelligence and crime reduction.

Police cannot do this alone. It will involve working closely with a range of government and non-government agencies, all of which I know are dedicated to helping victims and their children to stay safe.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you tell us more about how these new teams complement and strengthen the existing work of ACT Policing in combating family and domestic violence?

MS BURCH: ACT Policing personnel currently undertake activities that focus on targeting and crime reduction activities, and these will be refocused, with priority given to supporting front-line officers as they continue to respond to family violence when it occurs. These new teams will operate alongside existing front-line police to ensure ACT Policing delivers a connected, coordinated and consistent response to family violence. Indeed the teams have already started doing this significant work in coordinating the approach to family violence. These teams will support front-line officers who will continue to respond to reports of family violence 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If we look at the figures that ACT Policing have, we know that by midday today, our ACT police officers had responded to four incidents of family violence here in our city. Put simply, I think that is four too many. The creation of these teams will support those officers who, on a daily basis, are managing and responding to these incidents. The teams will also support the criminal investigation detectives who continue to investigate the most serious offences. The establishment of the family violence team will support the pro-intervention approach to families suffering from violence through the enhanced review and coordination efforts that direct our family violence response and investigations.

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