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Operation Amarock 6 is in full swing to cut down Domestic Violence. "If you need help, help is there."

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Lara Leahy

12 May 2024, 9:02 PM

Operation Amarock 6 is in full swing to cut down Domestic Violence. "If you need help, help is there."Domestic Violence. Police say, "If you need help, help is there."

This week the Richmond Police District is carrying out Operation Amarok 6 - “an intelligence-based operation targeting domestic violence perpetrators.”

Results are non-negotiable, “It will be every police officer that can put a gun on will be out and targeting domestic violence offenders.”

The recent spate of domestic violence has not been the reason for this targeted operation. Superintendent of the Richmond Police District Scott Tanner said, “We are serious about doing something to quell this insidious problem. DV is one of our major crime categories we focus on every day.” 

Police throughout the Richmond District will target the most serious and at-risk aspects. Supt Tanner said, “We will focus on domestic violence in a proactive way as well as reactive. That includes arresting and charging outstanding DV offenders who will be apprehended, violence order compliance checks and we also have a program, which assesses high risk offenders.”

"High-risk offenders and potential victims are engaged to monitor situations because domestic violence is often underreported for a variety of reasons. This operation will simply target the worst of the worst.”

Police in the region have ongoing preparation to negotiate these situations. Supt Tanner said, ”We hold ourselves up to very high standards as an organisation, and we've improved our practices, we've improved our training, we've improved our technology which includes things like ease of reporting.”  

New methods have been introduced to reduce victims having to relive traumatic experiences. 

“We don't have to make people come to a police station and report a domestic violence matter by sitting there for hours taking statements anymore. We can actually video-record the statement at the scene. And then that can be played to the court as evidence.”

“We know there's a lot of coercive control with DV offenders. But once a victim has stood up for themselves, the court process is smoother for everyone. That's been one of the big improvements.”

“We now have our domestic violence registry formulated by a team based in Sydney. They look at all things around policies and legislation. They also help with the intelligence modelling around Amarok with the high-risk offenders. That's been a real game changer that only came in last year.

“We work with government on solutions to domestic violence. We will assist in forming changes to bylaws, if that's what we have to do, or make suggestions around that.”

New protection being introduced

New legislation is coming to assist people with more than physical violence. “Control legislation that's coming online on July 1st around the non-physical side of domestic violence is being introduced.

“This includes controlling finances, who people see and interact with, controlling their friends, all that kind of thing, which has a psychological effect on people. 

“Every police officer in our district has received training for this.” Supt Tanner was particular about the indications of this kind of abuse, including nonverbal queues. “A lot of background work will be done by our detectives. It has put another layer of professionalism and importance by putting in a detective in charge of investigating situations.”

The police are partnering with many other services that offenders use to taunt victims, for example, banks. Depositing small sums of money has been used to intimidate victims by including offensive messages in the transaction description.

“Offenders are using technology to intimidate and threaten their current or former partners. So the banks notice the sort of discrepancies and alert the police.”

It is not always men offending against women

There are a few reports of women offenders, but the important aspect to understand “is that DV occurs when there is a power imbalance.” Supt Tanner reports that “same-sex domestic violence matters are completely underreported.”  

“We've got a very strong same-sex community here, and we do reach out to the community quite often to see where we can help in that area, but find people are very reluctant to report domestic violence.

“DV is not confined to one section of society; it happens to everybody, and sometimes it could be high profile, or people feel ashamed because they have a standing in the community. 

“What I want to reiterate, is that if you need help, the help is there. To make that break is a very very brave move, but to stay in a relationship like that is just fraught with danger. They're not going to change. In my 31 years of policing not too many domestic violence offenders change.”

An app to help.

An app has been developed by police to assist victims of domestic and family abuse. Empower You is designed to discreetly record evidence that can be used in court.  

The app can store photos and screenshots and record incidents of abuse in a diary with the date, time, and place recorded. To provide increased protection, you can access services and police or a pre-set contact. The app is lockable and has a quick-close function. Every person in a potential position of power imbalance could use this form of personal protection. 

“DV is about two things. It's about victim protection and offender accountability.”

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