The Chronicle analysed crime statistics available from MyPolice Queensland. Picture: Trevor Veale
The Chronicle analysed crime statistics available from MyPolice Queensland. Picture: Trevor Veale

REVEALED: The changing patterns in DV statistics for 2020

Domestic violence breaches spiked in the Fraser Coast's smaller towns in 2020, with both Howard and Tiaro recording increases in these types of offences.

Howard recorded 35 domestic violence-related breaches from January to November last year, which is up 13 offences in the first 11 months of 2019.

About 30 cases were reported in Tiaro between the same time period in 2020.

That is in comparison to the nine offences during the year before.

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The Chronicle analysed data from crime statistics for the Fraser Coast region as reported on the MyPolice Queensland website, for the months of January to November.

Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford said the breaches could encompass a range of behaviours.

"They can be from … things like a text or a phone call to an actual assault, but in majority of the cases they were minor in nature," he said.

Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford in Bundaberg.
Detective Inspector Gary Pettiford in Bundaberg.

Despite statistics showing that in times of disaster, like the pandemic, domestic violence rates tend to increase, Insp Pettiford said calls to incidents of domestic violence fell last year.

"We're happily surprised with the lack of increase in actual domestic violence since the COVID restrictions came in," he said.

"We thought that (an increase) would be the case, but it hasn't really happened here.

"(Although) it is possible that it may be harder for the aggrieved people to make the phone call to police because the respondent partner is there more often."

MyPolice also shows Hervey Bay recorded one less protection order breach in 2020 with 431.

Maryborough recorded 473 breaches compared with the 495 in the same period in 2019, with March the hardest hit month with 89 breaches.

Insp Pettiford said there are a variety of ways you can make complaint about domestic violence including through Queensland Police Service website.

If it is an emergency contact triple-0; otherwise call 131 444, 24-hours, seven-days-a-week.

QPS also have a messaging service that allows vulnerable persons to contact police for non-urgent matters through SMS messaging.

 

Laws and legislation regarding breaching domestic violence protection orders

Section 177 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012states a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment is applied to someone found guilty of breaching a domestic violence protection order.

That is unless the person has been convicted of the same offence in the last five years, which the maximum penalty increases to five years imprisonment.

The most common contraventions include a breach of "non-contact" conditions or not being of good behaviour and committing an act of domestic violence.

Sections 8 to 12 of the Act state domestic violence can include physical, emotional, economical, verbal abuse, property damage and threats to cause personal injury of self-harm.

The courts can impose a range of penalties including good behaviour bond, fine, community service, probation, suspended term of imprisonment, imprisonment with immediate parole, intensive corrections order or actual imprisonment.

QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES

DVConnect Womensline: 1800 811 811

DVConnect Mensline: 1800 600 636

1800RESPECT national hotline: 1800 656 463

If you need support phone 1800 RESPECT 24 hours: 1800 737 732.