- GPS tracking trial for family and domestic violence offenders begins
- $15.5 million funds 100 new devices, extra officers and rehabilitation programs
- Trial aimed at protecting victims from high-risk offenders
Electronic monitoring of family and domestic violence offenders is now under way in Western Australia to strengthen protections for victims and the community.
The two-year trial launched today involves GPS tracking of up to 100 high-risk offenders who have breached a family violence restraining order and committed a further act of family violence.
The McGowan Government has allocated $10 million to the Department of Justice and
$5.5 million to the WA Police Force to run the trial from the WAPF State Operations Command Centre.
To support the trial, the funding provides an additional 15 Adult Community Corrections staff and makes available two police officers at any time, 100 new GPS monitoring devices and increased rehabilitation treatment for offenders subject to tracking.
Offenders wear the electronic device attached to an ankle bracelet, which will set off an alert if they enter an exclusion zone - for example, near the victim's suburb - or if there is an attempt to tamper with the device.
In these instances, Adult Community Corrections officers would make a swift and appropriate response in consultation with dedicated police officers, including police attendance in certain high-risk situations.
The Commissioner for Victims of Crime will provide ongoing support to the victims of these offenders during the trial.
The trial is part of a $52.3 million expansion of electronic monitoring in the justice system by the McGowan Labor Government.
The launch follows the passage of the most comprehensive family violence law reform package ever seen in WA in June, and the introduction of online applications for restraining orders and increased penalties for the offenders who breach them.
Comments attributed to Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister Simone McGurk:
"This initiative is part of the McGowan Government's commitment to tackle the scourge of family and domestic violence.
"Police statistics show there were 24,498 family-related assault and threatening behaviour offences in 2019-20.
"In that same period, there were 12,014 family violence restraining orders lodged and 4,594 charges laid for breaches of family violence restraining orders.
"This trial is aimed at increasing the safety of victims and the community, and will work in unison with other measures we have put in place to address Western Australia's high rates of family and domestic violence."
Comments attributed to Corrective Services Minister Francis Logan:
"This Government's addition of more electronic monitoring devices gives judicial officers the opportunity to further strengthen the management of FDV offenders in the community.
"Corrective Services officers will work with police in monitoring these individuals and making sure they adhere to the conditions set by a judicial officer.
"More electronic monitoring will provide a greater level of oversight and, although it cannot be guaranteed to stop possible re-offending, it will mean that victims have far greater protections in place than they did before."
Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:
"While electronic monitoring is not a silver bullet to stop re-offending, it is another tool that will support the case management of FDV offenders.
"This trial will be subject to a rigorous evaluation to determine its effectiveness in increasing safety and reducing reoffending."
Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Minister's office - 6552 6600
Corrective Services Minister's office - 6552 6300
Attorney General's office - 6552 6800