John D'Orazio

John D'Orazio

Former Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Justice; Community Safety

    Indigenous forum to tackle community violence

    21/02/2006 11:05 AM

    Western Australian indigenous leaders will meet today to comment on State Government plans for overcoming violence in the community.

    Community Safety Minister John D’Orazio said community violence had a major impact on indigenous Western Australians.

    “Aboriginal people are more than eight times more likely to become victims of violence than non-indigenous people,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    “More than 20 per cent of all victims of violence in WA are indigenous, as are almost 45 per cent of those arrested for violent crimes.”

    The Minister said 80 people, including representatives of community groups, support agencies and police, were expected to participate in the forum being held in East Perth.

    They would discuss the Government’s State Community Violence Prevention green paper released last December - the first such initiative in Australia.

    Its recommendations included:
    • encouraging and assisting Aboriginal communities to develop local strategies to address violence;
    • re-examining the role of sobering-up shelters;
    • improving Aboriginal community patrols;
    • building on Gordon Inquiry initiatives; and
    • reducing re-offending.
    “Violent crime inflicts enormous trauma on its victims and costs the State more than $140million per year,” Mr D’Orazio said.

    “About 15,000 assaults are reported to police annually, and last year hospital emergency departments dealt with almost 7,000 cases of assault-related admissions.

    “Improving community safety and security is the responsibility of all members of the community, not just Government agencies.”

    The Minister said forums in Perth and major regional centres around the State were helping ensure that a wide range of WA responses were considered.

    The green paper is available at the Office of Crime Prevention’s website or by telephoning 9222 9733. The public comment period closes on March 31.

    Minister's office: 9213 7150