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Police Investigating Police (PIP) must end everywhere

Police Investigating Police (PIP) must end everywhere

Bashers prosper as PIP protects police

Bashers and violent thugs in police forces are bruising and abusing – and possibly killing – their spouses and getting away with it.

The system of Police Investigating Police (PIP) must end across the nation, Civil Liberties Australia says.

A false loyalty to the wrong people means no investigating officer wants to find a police colleague apparently guilty of breaking the law. So spouse-abusing colleagues are overlooked.

Police give police the benefit of the doubt. The thin blue line is used to keep justice out, not to bring to account people committing crimes against the community, especially against women.

Instead of being a shield against victims, police are protecting the perpetrators if they are police officers.

The domestic violence epidemic across the nation is highlighting how the PIP system can not be allowed to continue. Australia desperately needs independent investigation of complaints against police, for all matters.

NSW Police must urgently overhaul how it deals with perpetrators of domestic violence in its ranks, an ABC News report in May 2021 quotes experts as saying.

“Frontline workers claim the standard practice of police investigating their close colleagues too often means alleged abusers are not being held accountable, putting victims’ safety on the line,” the article by Hayley Gleeson says.

14 charged, only 3 convictions go on police officer records

Sixteen NSW officers were charged with domestic violence last year: NSW Police have not revealed how many were investigated. But in 2018, of 14 officers charged, six were found guilty but only three had convictions recorded.

In Queensland, at last count there were 84 police subject to domestic violence allegations and there has been a recent concerning increase in those numbers, Ben Smee reported in The Guardian Australia.

Queensland police seem to believe it’s the women who are violent even when it is men, mostly, who use their partners and spouses as punching bags.

“In 2017, almost half the women killed by their intimate partners in Queensland were labelled by police as perpetrators of domestic violence,” Smee wrote.

“A subsequent study found police continue to misidentify victims – that police often fail to view individual incidents in context; that some police use ‘gut feeling’ or body language to decide which partner should be made subject to a protection order,” he wrote.

Now-endemic domestic violence will never be reined in unless police attitudes change dramatically. No amount of funding, federal or otherwise, by itself will change how police officers behave.

Rather than trying to avoid domestic violence callouts, police must be re-trained in how to deal with them better. And they must be re-educated that police officers committing domestic violence are to be treated as priority investigations, not let slide.

These changes are vital in the big smoke, but also through rural and regional Australia.

Outside the big capital cities, the situation is particularly grim. Federal government figures show 23% of women in regional Australia experience intimate partner violence, compared to 15% in the city.

Lonny tops the state…but with tip of an iceberg

In Launceston, Tasmania Police were called out to 900 domestic violence incidents last year, the highest number of any local government area in the state.

But police statistics are just the upper iceberg of the chilling problem.

Tasmanian non-police bodies say about 70% of victims who have recently sought help went straight to support services, rather than police, for help. So the police count will be way below reality.

And even the police figures reveal the situation is getting worse, not better. According to Tasmania Police, the Northern Midlands has had a 58% rise in domestic violence call outs since 2017. The neighbouring Southern Midlands had a 116% increase in call outs in the same period.

Across all of WA, family-related offences (like assault and threatening behaviour) are up 18% so far this year (to 31 March) on the previous financial year, but up 24% on the year before that.

NT Police data indicates there was a 23% spike in domestic violence-related assault during 2020.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that nationwide in 2019, a third – 9000 – of the 27,000 Australian victims of sexual assault were related to family and domestic violence.

And there is nowhere for women and their children to flee. Vacancies in specialist housing for victims of domestic violence are virtually non-existent anywhere in Australia.

NOTE: Police deal with a domestic violence matter every two minutes across Australia.


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