NSWPF Spokesperson on Domestic & Family Violence - Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch
The continuing increase in the number of reports of domestic and family violence over the past ten years is seen by police and other community agencies, as evidence of an increase in community awareness reinforcing that this form of abusive behaviour must no longer be seen as a 'private' matter. It is recognised by all sectors that abusive behaviour towards a person in a relationship constitutes 'criminal' behaviour and is punishable by law.
I would like to give an assurance that the NSW Police Force is actively committed to improving our operational response to this crime. We are also actively involved in providing improved support and referral for victims through collaborative working relationships with a range of government and non-government agencies.
My message to the perpetrators who are abusing their partners, children or family members is this:
"Unlike other crimes committed involving personal violence, the NSW Police Force will know who you are. At some time in the future, you will come to our attention and you will be held to account for your actions, it is just a matter of time. Your partner (the victim) is not responsible for your behaviour. You must take responsibility for your actions and stop the abuse and violence now. If you need help to change the way you behave, then you should seek help. It is up to you."
Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch
Region Commander Central Metropolitan Region
Domestic and Family Violence
Domestic & Family Violence Team
The Domestic and Family Violence Team provides expertise, professional development and support to Local Area Commands and Specialist Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLOs) within the NSW Police Force. The Team is also a strategic and active partner in many interagency forums with government and non-government agencies.
The Domestic and Family Violence Team also conducts:
- Research and development and supports the implementation of programs and strategies in conjunction with other government agencies.
- Supports Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLOs) with networking and specific strategies to reduce family violence.
- Provides Liaison Officers with Professional Development Training in conjunction with Education Services to expand their capacity to meet the needs of their specialist roles.
- Manages related corporate projects as required that will assist frontline police.
- Provides consultation and advice to the Police Ministry on policy, legislation and specific issues.
Contact Details for the Domestic and Family Violence Team (during business hours): 9768 0716.
Region Sponsors for Domestic & Family Violence
In addition to the Corporate Sponsor, each of the six Police Regions has a Domestic and Family Sponsor. They are selected Local Area Commanders and their role is to oversight the management of police responses and strategies for their region. They can be contacted through the Domestic and Family Violence Unit.
Local Area Commands
Domestic Violence Liaison Officer (DVLO)
What is their Role?
The DVLO is a specialist police officer, trained in the dynamics of domestic and family violence, child protection procedures, victim support and court AVO processes required for the protection of victims of family violence.
The role of the DVLO is:
- To provide advice to police and victims.
- Assist in referral to appropriate support agencies.
- Maintain close working relationships with all support agencies.
- Review and oversight all domestic and family violence reports and cases.
- Assist victims through the court process for Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs).
- Monitor repeat victims and perpetrators.
Where are they located?
Each of the 80 Local Area Commands in NSW have one or more DVLO’s and they are located at the major Police Stations. The DVLO works in partnership with the Crime Management Unit of each Local Area Command.
To contact a local DVLO, phone your Local Police Station and ask to speak to the ‘DVLO’.
Police Response to Reports of Domestic & Family Violence
The police will treat all reports seriously and respond as quickly as possible, whether reported by the victims themselves or reported anonymously by others. If the report made, involves violence at the time of the call, police will treat this as an 'Urgent Response'.
Reports generally involve incidents occurring in a residence or dwelling, but may also include incidents occurring in the street, a shopping centre, a family restaurant, in a car being driven by a perpetrator or victim, on a boat, or any other location.
Once a report is received by police, they have an obligation to actively investigate all allegations of actual or suspected abuse or violence. In line with community expectations, police have been provided with a wide range of legislative powers to facilitate their investigation and to enter property for that purpose.
If in the course of the police investigation, an actual offence or a threat to commit a personal violence offence has been detected and, there is sufficient criminal proof available to support the charge if put before a Magistrate, police will arrest the perpetrator and take them to the nearest police station for processing.
Police also have obligations to take certain actions to provide for protection of victims and children. The actions may include applying to the courts for an 'Urgent' protection order (Telephone Interim Order - available 24 hours 7 days per week). This will lead to a court hearing for a Final Order for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).
If police respond to a reported incident and the perpetrator is the subject of a current enforceable Apprehended Violence Order (AVO), police will investigate and treat the incident as an allegation amounting to a Breach of the AVO. If sufficient evidence is available to support a conviction for any offence, police will arrest and charge the perpetrator with a Breach of the AVO in addition to any other substantive offence committed at that time.
Click here for further information on Apprehended Violence Orders (AVOs)
Detection and Prevention of Abuse and Violence
It is the basic human right of all persons to feel safe and to not be subject to any form of abuse or violence, whether or not they live alone or in a relationship with another person. As members of a community, if we become aware that abuse or violence is occurring to another person, we have a moral obligation in stopping the violence by taking action. The most appropriate action is to call the Police.
For further information please click on the menu on the left.
Don’t ignore the violence! We all have an obligation to act for the safety of others.