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Collaborative police-led project recognised for reducing family violence in western Melbourne

Media release

19 October 2017

The Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence Project, a collaboration between Victoria Police, a primary health network, the Centre for Behavioural Science at Swinburne University and Forensicare, today received a gold award in the police-led category of the 2017 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards (ACVPA).

The ACVPAs recognise best practice in the prevention or reduction of violence and other types of crime in Australia.
Victorian Police Superintendent Stuart Bateson said assessing and managing risk underpins efforts to keep victims of family violence safe and hold perpetrators to account.

“The embedding of a forensic psychologist in our family violence team and the development of an evidence based risk assessment tool has led to a significant uplift in our capability to respond to family violence and improve outcomes for victims.

“This award is a worthy recognition for the innovation and collaboration shown by our project partners.  It also acknowledges the hard work and dedication of police and psychologists working at the frontline of family violence,” said Superintendent Bateson. 

These annual awards recognise the outstanding contributions being made across Australia for crime prevention, including the development and implementation of practical projects to reduce violence and other types of crime in the community.

“Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence is a unique collaborative program between police, health and academia that has contributed to reductions in family violence-related charges in its associated police division,” said acting Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Director, Nicole Rose PSM.

“The project proves that a strong evidence-based approach to identifying and responding to family violence through actuarial risk assessment is effective in addressing the complex issue of family violence in Australia.”

All projects are assessed each year by the ACVPA Board, which consists of senior law enforcement representatives from each state and territory police service, and chaired by the acting AIC Director.

Victoria ACVPA Board representative, Victoria Police Western Region Inspector Zorka Dunstan, said the Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards provide an opportunity to showcase the amazing responses developed by the community and Victoria Police to prevent crime and violence.

“These projects are making a major difference in people’s lives and it is so important that we continue supporting the ACVPA in order to encourage others to share and pursue their own ventures in protecting the community.

“This year saw a significant increase in the number of Victoria Police-led nominations.

“Enhancing Police Responses to Family Violence is a worthy national winner and carries the potential to be used in other policing areas as the response is evidence-led and proven to be effective,” said Inspector Dunstan.

The awards are a joint initiative of the Australian, state and territory governments, coordinated by the AIC and co-sponsored by the Law, Crime and Community Safety Council.

To learn more about the 2017 Gold ACVPA winners, watch this video.

For more information about the award winners, visit www.aic.gov.au/acvpa

To view the latest crime and justice statistics visit www.crimestats.aic.gov.au

AIC Media:
(02) 6268 7343
media@acic.gov.au