NUMBER OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CALLOUTS HIGHER THAN STATE AVERAGE
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