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High domestic assault rate

Monday, 15th August, 2011

Broken Hill had the seventh highest rate of domestic violence related assault in the state last year.

Figures released by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics show that there were 166 reported incidents of domestic violence within the Local Government Area in 2010.

Detective Inspector Mick Stoltenberg from the Barrier Local Area Command said he feared the actual number of incidents could be far higher.

“I do believe that domestic violence is one of those offences which traditionally happens behind closed doors,” he said.

DI Stoltenberg said many people didn’t report violence for a range of reasons including children, financial and safety concerns.

“Sometimes the victims might feel like they’ve got nowhere else to go.”

He said local police work in partnership with a number of agencies to provide a domestic violence referral program which offer help to victims such as legal, financial and accommodation support.

“That’s something I would like to see accepted more readily.”

DI Inspector Stoltenberg said police were also hosting a number of information sessions at local schools, teaching students about drug and alcohol risks as well as what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable to try and break the cycle of learned violent behaviour.

“This is where we need to get involved with our prevention with the support agencies and try and educate these people on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”

“Hopefully we offer them some insight into what is right and wrong.

“We don’t want this generation growing up thinking its acceptable for there to be domestic violence between mum and dad.”

Nineteen of the 20 highest areas for domestic violence were in regional or rural NSW.

Meanwhile, DI Stoltenberg was pleased to see the number of house break-ins reduced.

Reports of break and enter dwellings were down from 260 in 2009 to 238 in 2010.

Stealing from dwellings was down from 175 in 2009 to 110 in 2010.

“There has been a reduction in crime across the state which is a real positive,” DI Stoltenberg said.

“A lot of those sorts of crimes are crimes of opportunity.”

He reminded people to lock their house and car doors to help reduce that rate even further.

“People in country towns are a lot more trusting.”

DI Stoltenberg also encouraged people to report crimes and come forward with any information they had.

“We need community support.... our main aim is always to prevent crime.

“We welcome anyone contacting local police at any time.”

Crime Stoppers can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 1800 333 000.

Local police also setup a Facebook page recently to trial what is being described as Neighbourhood Watch for the computer age.

As with the old Neighbourhood Watch, people will have to apply to become members of what is called “Project Eyewatch” and may then take part in regular online meetings about local problems and ways of combating them.


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