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Proactive policing to hold perpetrators accountable and support victim-survivors

Responsible government

  • New South Wales

Fourth Action Plan actions

  • Primary prevention is key
    • 2 Improve coordination across primary prevention activities to maximise their impact on community attitudes and behaviours that lead to violence.
  • Improve support and service system responses
    • 17 Collaborate across services, sectors and workforces to ensure responses to women affected by domestic, family and sexual violence are coordinated, meet women’s needs, avoid women having to retell their story and promote their recovery.

What are we doing?

NSW Police Force operate a three-tiered, proactive perpetrator accountability model that reflects the different levels of risk posed by domestic and family violence offenders. The three tiers are:

  • Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) compliance checks;
  • Domestic Violence Suspected Target Management Plans (DV STMP) II; and,
  • Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Teams (HROT).

The NSW Police Force is exploring innovative programs to support victim-survivors, including testing the viability of police using body worn video to record domestic violence evidence-in-chief (DVEC) interviews. The testing will consider if this approach adversely affects victim-survivors of domestic violence or the quality of evidence that can be presented to a court.

What have we achieved so far?

The ADVO compliance check program was implemented state-wide in 2017. The purpose of the ADVO compliance check is to hold a defendant accountable for their actions and behaviours by checking whether they are complying with their ADVO conditions. The program also involves checking on the person in need of protection and taking the necessary action if a breach is detected.

DV STMP II was implemented state-wide in 2016. DV STMP II is a coordinated approach used to identify, target and manage repeat domestic and family violence offenders.

HROTs are operating in each of the six police regions across NSW. Each HROT includes a number of police officers and an intelligence analyst. HROTS proactively investigate domestic and family violence high-risk offenders using covert and overt investigative skills.

NSW Police Force completed a trial of the use of Body Worn Video (BWV) to record DVEC statements between September 2019 and April 2020 in three Police Area Commands and Police Districts. The intent of this trial was to understand whether BWV was a feasible recording option in these circumstances, without adversely affecting victims and the quality of evidence presented to the Court. An evaluation was completed with recommendations in relation to the use of BWV to manage the quality of the recordings.

What is next?

HROT will continue to operate state-wide, supported by ongoing ADVO compliance checks and DV STMP II strategies.

NSW Police Force is in the process of developing training for officers in the use of BWVs for recording DVECs to ensure that the findings from the evaluation are implemented. BWV will provide an additional recording option for police in instances where a MobiPol device is not available. All officers are required to undertake the training prior to use of BWV for DVEC to ensure technical and legal requirements are met. The inclusion of this option assists to make available to victims DVEC as the method for capturing their evidence-in-chief to continue to mitigate the requirement for this evidence to be presented in the court room.

What difference will we make?

NSW Police Force’s perpetrator accountability strategies aim to reduce the rate of domestic and family violence in the community by reducing the risk of reoffending and providing protections to victim-survivors of crime. The model aims to stop perpetrators behaving violently and abusively.

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