Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Cairns to trial mobile family violence co-response model

A mobile co-response to police call outs between the Queensland Police Service and Government-funded domestic and family violence specialist services is set to be trialled in Cairns.

The Co-response Model will adopt a crisis intervention and early intervention approach for call outs to Domestic and Family Violence incidents enabling DFV and specialist services to respond at the same time as the intervention by QPS.

The Government says the services will work together to improve Victim-Survivor safety by better identifying and responding to patterns of behaviour over time that constitute domestic and family violence, taking into consideration the relationship as a whole.

“This is an excellent example of support services partnering with police to improve community safety,” said Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll.

“We see all too often the effects of abusive and controlling relationships on loved ones and the community as a whole.

“This co-response model shows how it takes all of us working together to create safer households and more respectful relationships.

“Police are most often called to these incidents at the point of crisis but this model provides an opportunity for education and support outside of this and aims to increase the safety for victims and prevent future escalations.”

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said the model will provide an opportunity for earlier intervention to get Victim-Survivors the supports they need to be safe and supports perpetrators need to change their behaviour.

“This is another critical step to ensure our justice system appropriately identifies and responds to people using coercive control to abuse their partner, before the introduction of coercive control as a criminal offence later this year,” she said.

“Co-response initiatives have been shown to improve how police and domestic and family violence specialist services work together, including a better understanding of agency roles and responsibilities.

“The model aims to reduce the misidentification of the person most in need of protection in the relationship as a whole, which we know happens disproportionately to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and can have significant impacts.

“Our Government remains committed to eradicating domestic and family violence and we will continue providing resources to frontline services and supporting victims to help them come forward.”

Consultation with a range of stakeholders including domestic and family specialist services, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander specialist services, academics, legal professionals, and relevant government agencies has informed the development of a comprehensive, evidence-based and practice informed Co-response Model.

“The co-responder model has proven to be very effective in a number of scenarios previously, including for example when police respond to mental health related incidents,” said Police Minister, Mark Ryan.

“The co-responder model has also been used successfully by police and youth justice specialists to actively engage at-risk young people who are at risk of becoming criminal offenders.

“I know that police will welcome this latest implementation of the co-responder model, as domestic and family violence is one of the most prevalent issues police officers deal with on a daily basis.”

A second location will commence in late 2024, informed by the outcomes of the trial in Cairns, the Government said in a statement.

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