Violence forms major part of police workload
AS POLICE commissioners from across Australia and New Zealand gathered to make a commitment to stamping out domestic violence, Childers police officer-in-charge Sergeant Geoff Fay spoke openly about the impact it had on the local command.
"It always keeps us busy," Sgt Fay said.
"It forms a major part of our workload."
Police take a "zero tolerance" approach to domestic violence, and have the power to apply for apprehended violence orders (AVOs) on behalf of victims if they "reasonably suspect" domestic violence has been committed.
While police have those courses of action open to them, Sgt Fay admitted he would prefer if the number of domestic violence issues to which he responded was zero.
"The less of it the better," Sgt Fay said.
"From a resourcing point of view, it frees us up to do other duties.
"DV seems to be entrenched in society, but people have to realise it's not an acceptable way to behave.
"We try to tailor conditions (of orders) to the situation.
"It can be anything from good behaviour to the extremes of non-contact (can't call, text, get messages to or from either party) and moving people out of residences."
While it is not known how many domestic violence cases local police attend each week ("it can be up to three or four cases sometimes," Sgt Fay said), the myPolice data says there have so far been 29 breaches of domestic violence orders in the Childers Division in 2014.
This is the highest level since 2010 (32).
"If people are in that situation, there are a number of support channels open to them," Sgt Fay said.
"You can contact police or you can make inquiries through support services first. Most of the time we'll get calls from outside the party. In the old days others wouldn't say anything, but now it's a lot more acceptable for people to take action."