Arrest police negativity
POLICE officers will need to change negative attitudes and lack of empathy if they are to better deal with family and domestic violence (FDV) incidents.
These were just two of the findings the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee found in its latest inquiry to the way WA Police responds to FDV incidents.
The committee had been investigating how the WA Police evaluates whether it was providing adequate protection to the victims of family and domestic violence, and tabled its report – A measure of trust: How WA Police evalu- ates the effectiveness of its response to family and domestic violence – in Parliament last month.
The report said that since the introduction of the Frontline 2020 reform, the number of police officers assigned to dedicated domestic violence teams had been halved.
It also said while the attitude to family and domestic violence of many WA Police officers could not be faulted, there was evidence of some officers with negative attitudes towards police responsibilities in this area and FDV incident reports were not always completed accurately by attending officers.
The committee collected feedback from groups on behalf of Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse victims on their experiences and it was far from favourable.
The committee recommended that training was needed to improve response with these victims.
A WA Police representative said it strived to deliver quality policing to the community and was committed to increasing victim safety in family violence situations.
“Under the new police operating model, every domestic violence incident is vetted by the district control centres. This is to ensure the attending officers have completed the appropriate risk assessment and investigative response,” the representative said.
WA Police provided ongoing training on FDV for all officers.
“Recruits undertake theory-based foundation learning including legislation, policy, multi-agency responses and risk identification. That foundation learning is then practically demonstrated in a scenario-based training environment using actors in realistic settings,” the representative said.
All serving officers are also required to complete training and assessments on the reporting of domestic violence.
If you or you know someone experiencing family and domestic violence, call 1800 RESPECT.