Frontline police have new hardware to ensure timely and accurate reporting of family violence incidents.
The Family Violence Report (FVR) tool, launched statewide last Thursday, allows police to make better decisions based on the information they collect out in the field using a mobile tablet device, improving accuracy and ensuring prompt referrals. The rollout follows a two-year pilot in Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Wyndham, Brimbank and Melton.
Family violence command assistant commissioner Dean McWhirter said the tool, developed in conjunction with Swinburne University and Forensicare, would provide frontline officers a tool to assess risk.
Assistant commissioner McWhirter said family violence and violence against women was core police work, accounting for about 40 to 60 per cent of frontline police time.
“In the past 12 months to March this year, police responded to more than 81,000 incidents of family violence,” he said.
“These incidents can be complex and police are often required to make assessments in stressful circumstances to keep people safe.
“The FVR gives police more guidance and confidence to make improved decisions based on the information they collect, combined with enhanced training and professional judgement.
“Police officers will also be better equipped to understand the intricacies of relationships to determine the risk level. It also allows police to collect consistent information to better track repeat offenders and those who breach intervention orders.”
Assistant commissioner McWhirter said the highest risk cases would be triaged to
the specialist Family Violence Investigation Units.
Family Violence Prevention Minister Gabrielle Williams said the reporting tool delivered on one of 277 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
“We’re addressing family violence with a range of approaches that reflect the royal commission’s recommendations and rebuilding the system from the ground up to keep women and children safe,” Ms Williams said.