Family violence plan in WA Police changes


WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has announced more resources for domestic violence services.A major restructure to policing in Western will see the number of metropolitan districts double, more teams dedicated to address domestic violence and a boost in officers deployed to out-of-control gatherings.

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson denied the former Frontline 2020 model, which shrank the number of districts, was a complete failure but said he would not change the structure if he did not think it would create greater efficiency.

Districts will increase from four to eight starting on July 1 and will include Perth, Midland, Mirrabooka, Joondalup, Armadale, Cannington, Fremantle and Mandurah.

There will be no change to district detectives.

Response teams, consisting of one sergeant and six constables, will be stationed at each metropolitan district to tackle family violence from August 1.

Mr Dawson said incidents of domestic violence had risen 50 per cent in the past 10 years.

“That tells us that people are reporting this more and we need to put more effort into reducing that harm,” he told reporters.

The commissioner said while there was once a culture of thinking that what happened at home stayed within the home, there was now “widespread take-up” that family violence was not tolerated.

“I think that is encouraging people to come forward and report what was once not reported,” he said.

The number of officers attached to the Regional Operations Group, which responds to out-of-control gatherings and critical incidents, will also be increased from 98 to 120.

A central ROG at Warwick Police Station is to be established by September 1 to complement ROG North and South.

A new State Operations Command Centre was previously announced to provide 24/7 oversight of all police activity in all 15 WA districts.

“All of these initiatives combined will help provide a police force that the community expects and deserves,” Mr Dawson said.

He said police were already meeting response times but he expected the restructure would help further.

National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero.

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