Team to tackle family violence

Alexander ScottNorth West Telegraph
The Family Violence Investigation and Action team will work closely with support services including Aboriginal Family Law Service.
Camera IconThe Family Violence Investigation and Action team will work closely with support services including Aboriginal Family Law Service.

Local police are tackling family violence head-on with the creation of a new team to take on one of its biggest headaches.

The South Hedland Community Action Team, launched by South Hedland police aims to decrease family violence in the community.

South Hedland Police Sen. Sgt Jeremy Marklew said this year to date there had been a 75 per cent increase in reports of family violence, compared with the same period three years ago.

Sen. Sgt Marklew said this was because of an increase of trust in the police and an increase in the promotion against family violence by police, support services, and media. “I am committed to increasing the number of reports of family violence to police, as I believe only a small percentage of the total number of incidents are being reported,” he said

“Increasing the reporting rates enables us to identify the most vulnerable in the community and put in place actions to protect them.”

The team led by Sgt Shelley Marklew, includes experienced investigators and members of the community action team.

It will focus on getting victims the support they need and holding offenders accountable.

Port Hedland Mayor Camilo Blanco said police were an enforcement agency that needed help from not-for-profit organisations and government groups to tackle family violence.

“We’ve got a significant number of resources that are applied to Hedland, so I would expect domestic violence-related issues to reduce significantly now that we’re focusing on those agencies to produce outcomes,” he said.

The family violence team is assisted by Child Protection Family Support, Pilbara Community Legal Service, and Aboriginal Family Law Service.

Aboriginal Family Law Service training co-ordinator Julie Dabb said family violence was often thought of as someone else’s problem.

“We all see it (family violence) happening in the community, or people arguing in their house and a lot of people are quick to say that’s their issue, that’s their problem,” she said.

“But if something happens and she dies, then it’s our problem because we’re the person burying our family member because of it.”

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