11th august 2023
30,223 ACTS OF FAMILY VIOLENCE IN VICTORIA
30,233 acts of Violence perpetrated on women by their ex-partners. (HS 9/08/23), and that is only the year to March.
Apart from the suffering of victims, that statistic equates to a minimum of 241,865 police hours used by this crime. The actual number is much higher when more than one Police unit is required, and the processing exceeds the four-hour minimum.
Clearly, policing domestics is at the expense of other pressing police operational issues, like the Road toll, Juvenile crime, both escalating at an alarming rate and creating victims at an alarming rate. The Road Toll numbers far exceed the deaths caused in any other Policing category.
So, if you call for help from Polce, the likelihood is that they may have difficulty getting to you. A disproportionate amount of their resource capability is tied up on Domestics.
The secondary heading, “Women die because of relationships”, is true to a point, but what has been overlooked is that many of these women are dying and or are subjected to violence because of Government inaction.
It is evident that despite the exorbitant amount of funds allocated to the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the raft of quangos, and the substantial number of Public Servants operating under the justification of Family Violence, the issue continues to surge.
We must put them under the microscope.
It is well overdue for these entities to be held to account, justifying their continued function, and the operating costs of ineffective entities can be diverted to where a real difference will be achieved.
The Commission’s recommendations are either not effective in reducing Violence or are being interpreted in a manner rendering the entire endeavour a futile waste of resources. The Royal Commission heard from a plethora of do-good armchair experts, predominately with only academic experience of the consequences of the damage, with little or no reliable knowledge of the cause, as is now evident by the failures.
The apparent huge surge in Domestic Violence must have foundations in the broader governance of Victoria as well as adversely impacting the police capacity to deal with the broader issue of Law and Order in this state.
The figures quoted in the Herald Sun articles must be viewed as a symptom of ineffectiveness.
Lawlessness breeds violence.
The vast majority of these “experts” work regular office hours and may even work from home. They are not available during critical situations and do not attend scenes even if called by the police. The alleged pool of expertise and resources that these entities have at their disposal must be applied to the issue at the most critical time when the Police are called.
The police are responsible for maintaining peace, while support agencies must address the underlying causes. Early intervention by these agencies would reduce the risk factors for victims; as far as we can establish, that is not a function the plethora of agencies accept as their role.
In particular, it should be mandatory that they attend if children are present. Children are often used by protagonists as a weapon and their mandated removal, all be it temporary, will often defuse volatile situations.
They, therefore, have no direct knowledge and do not leave the cloistered environment of the Office and deal with victims in that sterile environment (Sterile for the Victim), operating entirely on what they are told.
As a result of the Royal Commission, the Police were converted into statistic-gathering scribes rather than performing their proper function, maintaining the peace.
It is our understanding that the average domestic violence or disturbance attended by Police is a minimum of four hours and oftentimes substantially longer.
The vast majority of that time is consumed filling out data requirements for other agencies’ statical needs, which does not contribute to the issue at hand and the priority of ensuring the safety of all involved.
The data we are told that police are required to collect is for the function of support services. The data is only of limited value to the Police, so unless the police have a demonstrated need, the data collection required by other agencies should not be foisted on Police causing limited resources to be stretched further.
While police are doing this mundane administrative role, they are not ‘keeping the peace’, a concept many do not adequately understand.
If the agencies require data, then they can collect it.
The other major demonstration of Government ineptitude is the policy around ‘Ankle Bracelets’.
Ankle bracelets must be made mandatory for any perpetrator who demonstrates a propensity to violence toward any other person in a ‘domestic situation’.
The use of these devices, as in other countries and other states in Australia, not only acts as a deterrent but can warn the victim that the perpetrator is in the vicinity in their vicinity before a confrontation occurs. Police can also be alerted to intervene. A proactive response; a virtual fence erected to protect those in danger.
Ankle bracelets need to be approved and supervised by the Courts in the form of a Warrant taken out by the Police so a bracelet can be initially applied at the time of the violence (the period of greatest risk to a victim) and their continued application managed by the Courts.
Perpetrators must be refused bail by the courts in serious matters, and the bracelet must be mandated as a bail condition until the Court processes are completed.
This will minimise alleged abuse of their use and additionally bring the protagonists to the early attention of the Courts, who are the final arbiters in these disputes The Court’s early intervention would be a game changer; however, the current problem is that Corrections Victoria, who would be responsible for the practical application and management of these devices, including monitoring, lacks the resources to service these life-saving devices.
Using technology to protect victims is sensible and essential. Victims should not be primarily responsible for their own safety.
In a bygone era, the Police were the referees like today in any domestic dispute, and their attendance in a dispute was not bogged down by gathering data and following procedural rules foisted on police by other agencies but focused on achieving peace.
If a protagonist was violent, they were charged with assault as appropriate and locked up to be dealt with by the Courts.
Police regularly dealt with most domestics in thirty minutes rather than a minimum of four hours with the threat of the consequences of returning if things flared again, usually enough to resolve the issue.
This approach is considered archaic and rudimental by the Domestic violence industry, established to be a self-serving monolith with effectiveness erased from their evaluation.
The statistics clearly demonstrate the failure of the current approach and the ineffective application of the Royal Commission recommendations by bureaucrats.
We would argue that this new data-driven approach is an abject failure, and the shackles applied to Victoria Police must be immediately lifted and the Force given the task to apply those strategies that worked previously – maintaining the peace.