REVEALED: Fight against DV gets boost in Wide Bay-Burnett
THE fight against domestic violence in the region will be given a boost in the coming months.
Police Minister Mark Ryan has exclusively revealed to the Chronicle three domestic violence liaison officers will be deployed to Wide Bay-Burnett by June 30.
Mr Ryan made the comment after announcing the completion of upgrades to the Maryborough watch house.
About $520,000 was pumped into the facility.
The upgrades follow the opening of the Howard Police Complex.
Moving some business units from Maryborough to Howard opened up dedicated space for the district office and tactical crime squad.
Mr Ryan said the government had moved away from a "cookie cutter" approach when upgrading facilities.
Resources and infrastructure developments at watch houses are now tailored towards the region's needs.
"All recent upgrades have had input from officers and other staff," Mr Ryan said.
He said crime statistics were also scrutinised.
"There is consideration around where we place specialist units, as is the case with domestic violence," Mr Ryan said.
Some 1988 domestic violence breaches were recorded in Wide Bay-Burnett last year, an increase of nearly 7.5 per cent compared to 2018.
Both Maryborough and Hervey Bay recorded significant increases.
The officers will not be based at a specific station but will assist local police when needed.
Mr Ryan said while any spike in domestic violence was concerning there was also an increase in reporting.
"We would love for there to be no domestic violence but we know there is now a light being shone on offences," he said.
He said perpetrators were now being held to account and victims are receiving assistance.
Meanwhile, Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said the watch house refurbishments would help make officers' day-to-day duties easier.
He said it was important police had the necessary resources to make the community safe.
*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.