Domestic violence higher in Mid West
More than 300 family assaults have been reported in the Mid West-Gasgoyne District in the past three months alone, as new figures show domestic violence is increasing across the State.
It’s bad news for the whole of WA, but the rate of family assault is significantly higher in the Mid West, with a rate more than triple that of the metropolitan area.
The Mid West recorded a family assault rate of 168.9 per
100,000 people in September this year, compared with 44.5 per
100,000 people in Perth. Released by the WA Police Force on Monday, the figures showed some positive trends in crimes as well, with burglaries reducing across the board, but family-related offences were up
6.8 per cent on the five-year average Statewide.
Figures show reported cases of family assaults were on the rise in the Mid West, with 210 recorded in the same quarter last year, while 192 assaults were recorded during the same time in 2016.
The next highest number of assaults recorded this year was 263 in the January to March quarter.
Geraldton police Sergeant Jeremy Ashworth Preece told The Geraldton Guardian in July last year domestic violence was a big problem in the Mid West with no single solution.
“What we are seeing in Geraldton is an increase in the level of violence when people are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs,” he said.
“I think part of the problem is some perpetrators of domestic violence simply think that that’s an appropriate way to carry on.
“The only way we’re going to get an effective solution to the problem of domestic violence is police and other agencies and the community working together in partnership.”
The figures also revealed 28 sexual offences recorded in the region this quarter, compared with 40 during the same quarter in 2017 and 32 in 2016.mWhen asked about the higher rates of assault regionally, Police Minister Michelle Roberts said amendments to the Restraining Orders Act implemented by the Government last year had strengthened responses to family violence incidents by police.
“This has led to a greater willingness of victims to seek help and report incidents,” she said.
“As part of the restructure of the WA Police Force, Commissioner Dawson has increased the commitment to family and domestic violence with more officers dedicated to tackling family and domestic violence across Western Australia.”
While admitting domestic violence remained an issue, Ms Roberts praised the decrease in burglaries across the State which fell by 7.5 per cent compared to the same quarter last year.
This held true locally, with 220 burglaries recorded between July and September this year, down from 474 recorded over the same time period in 2017 and 363 in 2016.