Domestic violence eases in SW
Domestic violence in the South West has been declining over the past five years, bucking the State-wide upwards trend revealed in recent figures.
Released by the WA Police Force last week, crime statistics for the last quarter showed a rise in “familyrelated offences” of 6.8 per cent up from the five-year average across the State.
But in the South West, the number of family assaults during the September quarter was at its lowest since 2014, with 183 assaults rec- orded compared to 202 in 2017, 243 in 2016 and 206 in 2015. The South West was also one of the few regions in the State to have a lower domestic violence rate than Perth, which recorded 44.5 incidents per 100,000 people in September, compared to 41.5 per 100,000 people in the South West.
The figures also revealed 302 burglaries recorded over the past three months in the region, which again was the lowest number recorded since 2014.
Police Minister Michelle Roberts praised the decline in burglaries across the State and said amendments to the Restraining Orders Act implemented by the Government last year had strengthened responses to family violence incidents by police.
“The McGowan Government is determined to prioritise any measures which reduce the scourge of domestic violence, keep victims safe and hold violent perpetrators accountable,” 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 domes- tic violence across Western Australia.
“The Force has also established a crime Investigation Standards and Family Violence Division.”
Bunbury police Sen. Sgt Mal Jones said the 26 extra positions created at the Bunbury station two years ago had made a big impact to the decrease in crime.
“In the Bunbury area especially, crime has been down compared to previous years,” he said.
“There are still some areas of concern and some suburbs where a large part of our focus is being directed.”