Who is leading the change
- Victoria Police
Victoria Police, with advice from the Priority Community Division, scope options for a trial of a dedicated family violence and elder abuse response team in one Victoria Police local service area. The team should have the capacity to investigate financial abuse.
Victoria Police has undertaken a review of the Victoria Police Family Violence Team (Family Violence Teams) arrangements with a proposal to develop a principles-based, best practice approach.
This review looked at the roles and responsibilities of Family Violence Teams and what performance measures would accurately assess their ongoing effectiveness and efficiency.
This recommendation relies on the work for Recommendations 52 and 125, which also involves Family Violence Teams. Once these recommendations are complete, implementation can begin.
In July 2018, Victoria Police introduced the Family Violence Investigation Model Concept of Operations (the Model). The Model has established investigation and response accountabilities around elder abuse in 1 of the 4 pillars ‘Priority Communities’ and this has been incorporated into the policing response by Family Violence Investigation Units (FVIUs) and organisational policies.
In addition, the Family Violence Liaison Officer position within the FVIUs have responsibility for coordinating further responses for affected family members where the incident involves a person from a priority community (which includes seniors). The operational gaps identified by the Royal Commission into Family Violence have been incorporated into, and addressed by, the Family Violence Investigation Model released in July 2018.
Victoria Police has developed a practice guide to provide members with guidance on what is and is not elder abuse, examples of elder abuse, best practice, external support services available and details of other resources available.
Through a review of the significant reform in this space across Victoria Police and the sector more broadly over the last 2 years there remains an identified gap—improved guidance and expertise to identify and respond to financial elder abuse.
Victoria Police has scoped the parameters of a trial focused on financial elder abuse and will implement the trial through a working group which includes representation from external stakeholders. The key elements of the trial include:
- the identification of, and response to, financial elder abuse from a policing, healthcare and support services perspective
- the trial will be conducted in a minimum of 2 divisions, of which 1 site will be rural
- the trial is conducted in partnership with local healthcare and support service providers
- the implementation plan to support the trial will be developed in collaboration with local healthcare and support service providers, and representatives from peak seniors’ organisations through a project working group
- the project working group will provide advice on the commencement date of the trial taking into consideration any other funding grants and pilot projects being operated across the sector (at the state and Commonwealth level)
FVIUs and Family Violence Training Officers will continue to drive improved operational practice and understanding of elder abuse across the organisation.
Reviewed 17 May 2020