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NUM­BER OF DO­MES­TIC VI­O­LENCE CALL­OUTS HIGHER THAN STATE AV­ER­AGE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Alison Bald­ing

DO­MES­TIC vi­o­lence call­outs flood in to Mt Druitt po­lice daily and at a rate 2.7 times higher than the state av­er­age.

With a man, 38, now be­fore the courts for al­legedly dous­ing his part­ner in petrol and threat­en­ing to set her alight on Fri­day, The Stan­dard sheds light on the prob­lem plagu­ing the area.

MT DRUITT po­lice of­fi­cers are be­ing called to more than 10 do­mes­tic vi­o­lencere­lated in­ci­dents a day – one of the high­est rates in NSW.

With more than 30 women killed by their part­ners in Australia this year al­ready, alarm­ing fig­ures from the Bureau of Crime Statis­tics and Re­search for 2014 re­veal in­ci­dents re­ported in the 2770 post­code are more than 2.7 times higher than the NSW av­er­age.

The data shows the rate of re­ported do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in­ci­dents per 100,000 peo­ple in 2770 was 1087.8 last year, com­pared to 398.2 per 100,000 peo­ple across the state.

Mt Druitt Se­nior Constable Brian John­son said lo­cal po­lice re­sponded to an av­er­age of more than 10 calls a day in warmer months, and at least six a day when the weather is cooler.

“The Mt Druitt com­mand is con­sis­tently in the top five ... for do­mes­tic vi­o­lence in the state, and of­ten it is num­ber one,” Sen-Constable John­son said.

Of­fi­cers were called to a He­ber­sham prop­erty on Fri­day af­ter a man, 38, al­legedly poured petrol over his 29year-old girl­friend’s head near an open gas bot­tle threat­en­ing to set her alight.

The man was ar­rested and has been charged with 10 of­fences. He is due to face court on Fri­day.

For al­most nine years Sen-Constable John­son has been one of six of­fi­cers who make up the Mt Druitt Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Unit, the largest do­mes­tic vi­o­lence team of all NSW po­lice com­mands.

He said the high amount of so­cial dis­ad­van­tage was one in­di­ca­tor con­tribut­ing to the pat­tern of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

“There are kids grow­ing up be­liev­ing this kind of vi­o­lence is an ac­cept­able and nor­mal part of hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship, we need to change that mes­sage,” Sen-Constable John­son said.

Manager of the Women’s Ac­tiv­ity and Self Help House re­source cen­tre for women in Mt Druitt, Rachel Mer­ton, said she wasn’t sur­prised by the fig­ures.

“(But) it is alarm­ing and it means that do­mes­tic vi­o­lence needs to be a top pri­or­ity in terms of ser­vices, and our mem­bers of par­lia­ment should take no­tice,” Ms Mer­ton said.

She said a pro­gram ,which started in Mt Druitt, was help­ing women re­claim their lives.

The Stay­ing Home Leav­ing Vi­o­lence pro­gram pro­vides re­sources needed to help women feel safe in their own homes. “Things like chang­ing locks, sen­sor lights and even se­cu­rity cam­eras can be in­stalled,” Ms Mer­ton said.

‘‘There are kids grow­ing up be­liev­ing this kind of vi­o­lence is an ac­cept­able and nor­mal.

– DET SEN-CONST BRIAN JOHN­SON

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