Audit Office of New South Wales: Audit into police responses to domestic and family violence
This submission to the audit into the NSW Police Force’s responses to domestic and family violence (DFV) synthesises relevant recommendations from ANROWS research.
This submission contributes to the Audit Office of New South Wales’s audit into the NSW Police Force’s responses to DFV. The submission provides the following synthesis of recommendations from ANROWS research that may have implications for the NSW Police Force:
- Recommendation 1: Explicit guidance on identifying patterns of coercive control would assist police in identifying the person most in need of protection in ambiguous circumstances and in determining whether a protection order is necessary or desirable.
- Recommendation 2: Investigate specialist units or co-responder models as strategies to improve policing responses to DFV.
- Recommendation 3: Provide professional development opportunities for police on the appropriate application of the law.
- Recommendation 4: Resource police properly to work in a trauma-informed way, including via the provision of appropriate training for dealing with people with experiences of complex trauma.
- Recommendation 5: Promote partnership models where police attend mental health incidents with allied health.
- Recommendation 6: Move to trauma-informed prosecution, involving continuity of contact and care in a case from a trusted individual, with careful handover from police to prosecution, and from lawyer to lawyer.
- Recommendation 7: Consider the co-location of police services with other services carefully, striking a balance between the convenience of access and factors that exacerbate women’s pre-existing barriers to reporting violence to police.
- Recommendation 8: Ensure police are well informed about cultural safety principles and apply them in their service provision, through professional development and using visual signifiers, as part of the creation of culturally safe and respectful services.
- Recommendation 9: In other systems, including the human services system, ANROWS research has supported the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, including specific Aboriginal liaison officers, which may also work for the NSW Police Force to reduce barriers to accessing justice.
- Recommendation 10: Strengthen police responses to LGBTQ DFV/intimate partner violence (IPV) via training on the dynamics of DFV and intimate partner violence in LGBTQ relationships.
- Recommendation 11: Police responses need to take into account that the support needs of many women who experience IPV during the pandemic (and more generally) are likely to be complex with barriers to help-seeking.
- Recommendation 12: Funding and practice design for police can focus on online responses including “debugging” of devices to remove monitoring software.
- Recommendation 13: Resource police training on responding to technology-facilitated abuse to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth).
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2021). Re: Audit into police responses to domestic and family violence [Submission]. ANROWS.