Our Say: Special police DV unit only part of solution

The decision to create a police squad to tackle the domestic violence scourge in the region will resonate with the community.

Dubbo and the rest of the Orana region have had unacceptably high rates for the crime for way too long.

Police in the various Orana local government areas (LGAs) have long been at the forefront of the fight to reduce domestic violence and have had some success.

But, seven Orana LGAs are still on the list of the worst 20 domestic violence hot spots in NSW, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research’s figures.

While the centres’ rankings for the crime may see-saw from report to report, there is always a strong Orana presence.

That has to change.

As Dubbo’s White Ribbon ambassador Kevin Saul says one in three women can expect to suffer domestic violence in their life. In Dubbo’s population of around 42,000, about 21,000 would be females.

That means 7,000 of our mothers, sisters, daughters will face beatings and other abuse, perhaps even death, in incidents.

It is a figure we should be ashamed of and which the entire community should take steps to reduce and ultimately eliminate.

As part of its re-engineering, the police force is creating regional enforcement squads comprising specialists to tackle various crime problems.

Dubbo will share the domestic violence squad with the Tamworth police region.

They will target recidivist offenders, high-risk offenders and will support the most vulnerable victims.

Senior police say pro-active programs against domestic violence in other regions has seen a drop in offence rates.

The many community organisations and individuals who have also been in the frontline campaign to reduce the violence will take heart from the move.

Their work – and that of the police – to date has been invaluable in combatting what is disease in our society.

Mr Saul consistently points out it is men who must take the lead ...“if men don’t stop men from perpetrating violence against women it will never stop happening”.

Police Minister Troy Grant  says the new squad will put offenders “well and truly on notice that their behaviour will not be tolerated”.

Many men in the region are already involved in the campaign. But, all men must take a pro-active role.