Police increase home checks to prevent domestic violence
NSW Police have been ensuring domestic violence victims are being cared for during COVID-19 with a sharp increase in proactive policing strategies.
This week NSW Police released its first quarter 2020 statistics, which highlight a substantial increase in compliance checks alongside a decrease in certain domestic violence offences.
Since commencement of the COVID-19 restrictions, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has been closely monitoring rates of domestic violence across the state.
"There is no doubt that the COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation restrictions have presented inherent and very real risks to domestic violence victims and their families," Mr Fuller said.
"As an organisation committed to protecting the most vulnerable in the community, we have ramped up police proactively across the state, with ADVO compliance checks and ongoing monitoring of high risk and repeat DV offenders."
Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) compliance checks have greatly increased in each month between January to April 2020 compared to last year, with an additional 3,684 checks completed in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
"The data we see today is heartening, but this is in no way the end of our efforts," Mr Fuller said.
"We will continue to keep a close eye on the plight of those experiencing domestic violence and their loved ones."
DV-related assault incidents in NSW were comparably similar to that recorded in the same period last year, however incidents decreased from 2,408 in April 2019 to 2,194 in April this year.
The report showed that as of May 4, there were four domestic-related homicide incidents in NSW this year.
This contrasts to the same time last year, in which 11 DV homicide incidents were recorded.
"Make no mistake, the fact that we have a single DV homicide incident indicates we have a long way to go, but I am relieved to see the figure has not increased during COVID-19 and has in fact dropped," Mr Fuller said.
Legal action rates for Assault (DV), Assault (DV) involving Actual Bodily Harm and/or Grievous Bodily Harm, and Breach DV AVO were overall slightly higher compared to the same period previous year.
The public are reminded that if you witness domestic or family violence, call the police - the information you provide might just save someone's life. If your life of someone else's life is in danger contact triple-0 (000).
Further, there are multiple support services available if you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic or family violence.
These services include:
• 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a confidential information, counselling and support service;
• NSW Domestic Violence Line (1800 65 64 63) is a statewide telephone crisis counselling and referral service for women;
• Men's Referral Service (1300 766 491) provide telephone counselling, information and referrals for men;
• Link2Home (1800 152 152) can help refer women experiencing domestic violence to crisis accommodation; and
• Lifeline (13 11 14) is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.