Monday, May 20, 2024

Queensland Police DV specialist support trial ends

A six-month trial of the deployment of specialist officers to support victims of domestic violence and the police staff working with them has concluded in Queensland.

The Embedded Officer program saw specialised Queensland Police Service (QPS) officers placed in the same working spaces as domestic violence support services.

Launched in Ipswich and South Brisbane in September 2022, the program aimed to better assist both victims and staff working through complex circumstances by providing onsite assistance and advice from specialist officers.

Ipswich District Inspector Kylie Rigg spoke of the positive feedback that was received throughout the trial period.

“This initiative was implemented with victims at the forefront of our mind,” said Insp Kylie Rigg.

“We understand that while victim-survivors navigate their situations, some may feel uncomfortable attending a police station to seek help or advice.

“The benefit of having these officers placed in these service facilities is they are still fully equipped in their capabilities, whether that be by taking statements or other means of support, while in a space where they may feel more comfortable.

“Another benefit is the improved information sharing between agencies when understanding and interpreting risk to victim-survivors to provide a better and more informed victim-centric and trauma informed response.”

Domestic Violence Action Centre (DVAC) CEO, Amie Carrington, spoke of the positive impact that the collaboration between the service and QPS had already had on both staff and victims.

“By having officers based in the same facility of our service, it offers an entirely new range of options for those who find themselves in unsafe relationships and are seeking help, as well as staff working through issues which are more complex,” said Ms Carrington.

“We have already seen some incredible success stories from this initiative, whereby working together, victim-survivors seeking help have felt so safe and supported that they have taken action in situations where they said they may not have done so before.”

Police along with Brisbane Domestic Violence Service (South Brisbane) and DVAC are currently exploring the extension of the pilot to provide immediate and accessible help, while an evaluation of the trial takes place.

The evaluation will also assess the benefit to a collaborative interagency response to reducing domestic violence across the state, ensuring more safe and accessible spaces for those seeking help from unsafe relationships.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic and family violence, you should report it to police.

Latest Articles