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Ensure Victoria Police have guidance for identifying family violence primary aggressors


Who is leading the change

  • Victoria Police

Victoria Police amend the Victoria Police Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence to ensure that it provides suitable guidance on identifying family violence primary aggressors. This includes:

  • procedures for amending the Law Enforcement Assistance Program (LEAP) when a service provider or a Support and Safety Hub subsequently informs Victoria Police that a person is not the primary aggressor
  • provision of details of specialist support available to assist in identifying the primary aggressor

Victoria Police should provide training at all appropriate levels on the amended requirements relating to identifying primary aggressors.

  • Victoria Police will review and amend the current Code of Practice for the Investigation of Family Violence to include all changes to police practice from our reforms to the family violence system. This includes more guidance for police in identifying the primary aggressor in situations where it is unclear, and potential system changes.

  • Victoria Police has policies in place to provide police members with guidance on the identification of the primary aggressor in the relationship.

    Victoria Police has a number of post-incident options for taking corrective action, mitigating negative impacts or addressing non-compliance available to members, which are available for all crime types. The post-incident options available to members within a family violence context are identical to the corrective measures available for any crime type.

    For all offences involving family violence a Family Violence Report (L17) must be prepared. Where new evidence or information becomes available which may impact on the investigation or alter an existing risk assessment, members are required to complete a new L17 and conduct a new risk assessment. The additional L17 should reference to the original L17 as it will be shared with support services to inform further inform risk management plans.

    LEAP contains the details of the investigation, decisions with regards to authorisation of charges, decisions with regards to issuing of a FVSN or application for a Family Violence Intervention Order, L17 reports (the original and any additional L17 reports completed), and court outcomes.

    Victoria Police has established the Centre of Learning for Family Violence to support career-long education and training tailored to the rank and role of staff. The Centre of Learning has commenced the rollout of training on a number of themes including the complexities and dynamics of family violence to ensure a consistent understanding across the organisation. The concept of primary aggressor is already incorporated into existing training and is incorporated where appropriate into new training.

    At a local level, Family Violence Training Officers in each division will continue to identify good practice and non-compliance, and incorporate this learning into ongoing training and education at both the local level and across the state.

    The Family Violence Investigation Units (FVIUs) were established in July 2018 and have accountability for high risk incidents (along with historical investigations and a focus on priority communities).

    Family Violence Liaison Officers continue to provide real time assistance to police managing complex cases and when requiring assistance in determining primary aggressors and appropriate victim support.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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