Our key role in reducing family violence

Our key role in reducing family violence

Commissioner Mike Bush

Every member of Police will welcome the announcement this week of strengthened family violence laws. All police officers have seen first-hand the damage caused by violence in the home, and you need only look at the statistics to see how much of a problem it is for New Zealand.

Family violence knows no socio-economic boundaries and we attend an incident every five minutes of every day. Children are present at two thirds of those incidents, and we know that young ones growing up in homes where they witness, are the victims of, or live in fear of violence can suffer lasting effects. Often the perpetrators are the very people their victims should rely on most for love, care and protection.

Police has a key role to play in reducing the harm from family violence and like all of you, I’m committed to doing everything I can to achieve that goal. It’s a key focus of our Policing Excellence the Future programme, and we’ve got some really positive initiatives underway.

These include the Integrated Safety Response pilot in Christchurch, which is already getting good results. It’s a great example of the joined-up thinking and inter-agency partnership that’s required to reduce victimisation and re-victimisation and ensure victims and perpetrators get the help they need to live in safe homes.

We also have a role to play, through the work we do with our communities and partner agencies, in changing the culture and attitudes that lie beneath our terrible rates of family violence. Violence is never okay, and we encourage anyone who’s a victim or who thinks someone they know is a victim to contact us. We’re here to help.

Young people realising their potential

Yesterday, I was at Burnham Military Camp in Christchurch for a graduation dinner for the Limited Service Volunteers course of which I’ve been the patron. The LSV scheme has been around for more than 30 years and is aimed at people aged 18-25 who are at risk of long-term unemployment.

It was great to be there with the graduates as they celebrated their achievements, and I’ll be with them tomorrow as they formally graduate. I’ve been really impressed by the attitude and motivation of these young people, who have come a long way in the past six weeks. I wish them all the very best for the future.

That’s all for this week. Until next time, stay safe.

Subscribe to the Commissioner's blog.