Police team strikes back

Constable Rebecca Schofield, Sargeant Jason Freney, Senior Constable Chris Heffron, and Senior Constable Katrina Jago. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers A new police team dedicated to tackling the region’s domestic violence problem has spent the past week-and-a-half in Maitland.
Nanjing Night Net

The Northern Region Domestic Violence High Risk Offender Team has been formed as a proactive response toknown domestic violence offenders.

The team, which consists of six operatives anda sergeant, hasbeen based out of Maitland Police Station since last Wednesday.

The Maitland local government area’s domestic violence statistics are among the worst in the Northern Region.

Latest numbersfrom the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Researchshow that it ranks third behind Kempsey and Coffs Harbour.

However, Northern Region operations manager Detective Inspector Greg Thomas said there was no specific reason, other than proximityto Newcastle, that the team had been deployed to Maitland to kick off the program.

The team’s duties include making sureapprehended violence orders are followed, ensuring the safety of people living with offenders and helping officers with outstanding arrests.

Detective Inspector Thomas said the squadwould help police better targetdomestic violencein their communities.

“It should put domestic violence offenders on notice that there is a dedicated team targeting their behaviours and that their behaviours will not be tolerated,” he said.

Inspector Thomas said the aim of the program was to keep victims safe as well asreduce offences and repeat incidents.

Central Hunter crime manager Detective Inspector George Radmore said the team had already provided great support in the short time they had operated out ofMaitland.

“The team is a massive advantage to our command,” Detective Inspector Radmore said.

“Prompt and effective targeting of high-risk offenders provides significant benefits for victims and the general community, including police response times and our own officers’ workloads.”

The Northern Region team is just the secondto launch in NSW after atrial squad was formed intheCentral Metropolitan Region towards the end of last year.

The team can be deployed to any of the 12 local area commands in the region based on police information. A dedicated analyst will join the team this month.

The Domestic ViolenceHigh Risk Offender Teams will be launchedin phasesacross the sixpolice regions in NSW.

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