The attitudes of Queensland police officers towards domestic violence is set to be analysed ahead of a cultural shake-up.
The government is calling for an organisation to assess attitudes and perceptions to domestic violence among operational police and their immediate supervisors.
The findings will be used to develop a program to be delivered across the Queensland Police Service to create positive cultural change.
The "change package" – to be rolled out across the QPS – will aim to increase police officers' awareness of and understanding of domestic violence and its impact on involved parties, police and the community.
The Not Now, Not Ever report highlighted that public perception of police culture and attitudes to domestic violence were negative.
It noted that police were potentially agents of social change and suggested a positive police attitude could influence community culture.
The Not Now, Not Ever report recommended the Deputy Commissioner of regional operations be appointed to champion best practice domestic and family violence prevention and first-responder practice and create positive cultural change within the QPS.
A QPS spokesman said the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland, chaired by Quentin Bryce, recognised the QPS as an agent of social change, with a vital role in influencing community culture.
The spokesman said although it had implemented the report's recommendation by appointing Deputy Commissioner Brett Pointing as the QPS cultural change champion, there was still significant ongoing activity as part of a broader reform agenda.
"The goal of this agenda is to maintain the momentum of cultural change in the QPS and as a result, the wider community," he said.
The group chosen to perform the contract, now out to tender, will get an office within police headquarters on Roma Street, computer access to the QPS network to obtain relevant information and documents and access to key stakeholders.
After the cultural change package has been delivered, follow-up assessments will be conducted to measure organisational shift in attitude and culture relating to domestic violence policing in the QPS.
Women's Legal Service Queensland chief executive officer Angela Lynch said there was an improvement in the police response to domestic violence since the Not Now, Not Ever report.
But she said there was still room for change.
Ms Lynch said those issues were whether domestic violence was viewed as "not 'real' policing" and a view that victims would end up going back to the perpetrator or recanting their story.
"[The issue is also] in relation to not necessarily treating domestic violence in the same way as a street crime, or somebody walking down the street and being assaulted," Ms Lynch said.
"The police are just members of society like anyone else and so those issues in relation to judgments that are made about victims of domestic violence exist throughout society."
Ms Lynch welcomed the tender for the new project.
"It identifies at the moment all they have is anecdotal information that there is a problem so this will investigate and determine if there is a problem, what is the level of the problem and how best to respond to it," she said.
Currently, about 50 per cent of calls to the Women's Legal Service Queensland go unanswered.
The service needs a commitment of $300,000 per year for three years otherwise its domestic violence legal advice line will be halved from July 1.
Written by Felicity Caldwell and published at http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/attitudes-of-police-to-domestic-violence-under-spotlight-20170605-gwkn0s.html
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