The Hunter’s shameful domestic violence figures have been released from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research with White Ribbon Day just around the corner.

According to the figures, domestic assault rates in Cessnock, Maitland and Muswellbrook sit in the top 25% of the state. The areas are also listed as the 22nd, 32nd and 34th worst areas across NSW.

Over the past year, more than 400 incidents were recorded in Maitland alone with figures showing a 1.6% increase in assaults each year for the past 5 years.

Detective Superintendent Wayne Humphrey spoke at today’s Hunter White Ribbon Breakfast and says perpetrators aren’t the only problem, bystanders also play a role.

“If you have a mate that you suspect is perpetrating domestic violence against their partner, you are not being a mate by remaining silent. You need to ring the police before you may witness your friend be responsible for a murder.”

He says police are currently working on a range of new initiatives to target perpetrators and to truly tackle this issue, announcing the arrival of the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme.

“I can announce that as of the 25th of November the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme is in place, where no matter what state you’re in, domestic violence orders are binding. [This] will certainly help with perpetrator behaviour and if there needs to be an order that was taken out in another state varied, that can now be done here so that’s an exciting tool for us.”
The Superintendent also listed AVO compliance checks, the Suspect Targeting Management Plan (STMP) and electronic monitoring of offenders as further measures which could help reduce the growing trend of domestic violence.

Image: [MyPolice QLD]