Tuesday, 25 September 2012 - 11:36am |
National News

Family violence death reviews aim to prevent further tragedy

3 min read

Police have released a statistical analysis of Family Violence Death Reviews (FVDRs) done since 2004.

National Crime Manager Detective Superintendent Rod Drew said family violence death reviews provide police and other agencies with valuable information about the circumstances surrounding family violence deaths.

"Police are first on the scene of a family violence death, we carry out the investigation and we are in a unique position to examine the events leading up to the death".

"The aim of every review is to prevent the same set of circumstances leading to tragedy for other families," Mr Drew said.

FVDRs have been in place since 2004, this is the first time data from the reviews has been brought together in a report.

The report summarises the findings of 95 police family violence death reviews involving 101 victims.

The report is not an exhaustive list of all family violence deaths since 2004, so it does not correspond to official statistics.

Mr Drew said a number of changes have already been made to the way Police respond to family violence that address the findings in this report.

One of the key themes identified was the importance of trying to evaluate and predict the risk involved in situations of intimate partner violence.

In July this year ODARA (Ontario Domestic Assault Risk Analysis), an internationally recognised risk scoring tool was introduced to NZ Police.

ODARA is used at every incident involving intimate partner violence and that risk analysis can be used, in court if necessary, to try and manage people that are deemed to be high-risk.

New Zealand Police has also developed a similar Child Risk Factor Tool (CRFT), which staff began using earlier this year to help predict the risks for children.

"We believe this tool is the only one of its kind in the world," Mr Drew said.

Police Safety Orders (PSOs), implemented two years ago, enable staff to order someone to leave the premises for up to five days if they believe they are a risk to others in the home.

"The aim of PSOs is to give the victims some breathing space and the opportunity to talk to people who can help them get out of violent relationships.

Improved information sharing is also a recurring theme in the reviews.

"We have made significant improvements to inter-agency collaboration since the earliest family violence death reviews were carried out in 2004."

"All districts now participate in regular inter-agency meetings to decide how best to help high-risk families and individuals stop the cycle of offending.

"Police and our partner agencies strive continuously to improve the way we respond to family violence,"

"We don't do everything right, all the time. Family Violence Death Reviews are a way of asking ourselves what we could do better.

"The reviews are used as resource for family violence staff around the country," Mr Drew said

Key findings of the report

• Around one third of victims were in each category of adult male, adult female and child

• 81 percent of female victims and 29 percent of male victims were killed as a result of intimate partner violence

• 45 percent of the child victims were killed by their mothers

• In 64 percent of all cases there was prior police involvement with the family

• In 55 percent of child deaths there was prior police involvement with the family

• The majority of the suspect/offenders were aged between 20 and 29

The full report can be found at www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/resources/family-violence-death-r...


Jane Archibald
Police Public Affairs
04 474 9442
027 568 0267