RESPECT FOR POLICE LACKING IN SOME ETHNIC COMMUNITIES SAYS VICTORIAN POLICE MINISTER
Victoria’s Police Minister has acknowledged respect for Australia’s law enforcement agencies was lacking in some ethnic communities. Surrounded by plain-clothed and uniformed officers whilst speaking to the National Police Remembrance Day ceremony in Melbourne, Kim Wells said more work was needed to improve relationships so officers could work without fear. “I hope the respect for Victoria Police increases, but I suspect there are some pockets where respect for police has subsided somewhat,” he said. “It means that the chief commissioner and Victoria Police will work hard with certain groups to ensure that the relationships between Victoria Police and those groups continue to improve.
“It’s not always easy, but the chief commissioner is absolutely committed to making sure that the hand of friendship is extended to those groups in the community which may have come from another country, for example, but are part of the Victorian community.” Numan Haider’s attack on two counter-terrorism officers in the carpark of his local police station recently was still fresh in the minds of officers and their families attending the ceremony. Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said he was thankful no officers had been killed in the line of duty this year, leaving the memorial wall unmarked. “Things could have been so different,” he said. “These events remind us of the threats that as police we face on a daily basis.
“They are real, they are unpredictable.” An Australian Federal Police officer stabbed in the neck, head and abdomen by Haider remains in hospital. The Victoria Police officer who fatally shot Haider is at home but unlikely to return to work for months while he receives further surgery on wounds to his arm. “We had two policemen going about their duties and they were set upon, it appears, for no good reason,” Mr Lay said. “Policing is dangerous.’’ The danger faced by police more than a century ago was also remembered, as descendants of three officers killed by Ned Kelly’s gang accepted Victoria Police stars on behalf of their slain ancestors.
REPORTS OF NORTHERN TERRITORY CHILD ABUSE JUMPS 30% IN A YEAR ROYAL COMMISSION TOLD
Reports of child abuse, neglect and maltreatment of children in the Northern Territory jumped by almost a third last year, taking child protection agencies by surprise, a royal commission has heard. In 2013-14, the NT Department of Children and Families received almost 13,000 child pro-tection notifications, up 29.7 per cent on the previous year. The department launched about 5000 investigations in response, a 29 per cent increase. The number of children in out-of-home care in the NT has risen by 90 per cent over the past five years to 932 children as of June 30, 25 per cent up on the same time last year. About 85 per cent of those children are Aboriginal.
Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, executive director of the department’s out-of-home care division Simone Jackson said her agency was struggling to cope. “We’re all shocked and trying to work with that increase in volume,” she said. “It’s sad to say we have lots of parents who are unable to provide the minimum care requirements.” She said she did not know what was behind the increase. In the 2014-15 budget, the government stripped $8 million, or 5 per cent from the department’s funding. The same budget recorded a $1.6 billion increase in overall revenue and an almost $1bn increase in spending over the forward estimates period.
Ms Jackson said carers were not routinely taught how to recognise grooming and “protective” behaviour related to child sexual abuse, and acknowledged that training needed to be improved. The commission has heard allegations that children living at Darwin’s Retta Dixon Home, which operated between 1946 and 1980, were serially abused. Former residents testified that they felt there was no one they could complain to. Critical to overcoming such problems is regular contact with case managers, but the department only meets its “policy requirement” for monthly meetings 40 to 60 per cent of the time, the commission heard.
CHILD BRIDES AN ASSAULT ON VALUES SAYS GOVERNMENT MINISTER
A 14-year-old girl has been stopped by authorities from flying to Lebanon for an arranged marriage. Customs and federal police stopped the teenager and her uncle at Sydney Airport after they learned she was being taken overseas to be married. “Where children are involved, arranged marriage is an abomination,” he said. “I can confirm that an adult male and a female minor were prevented from boarding a flight at Sydney International Airport. “The prevention from boarding was not counter-terror related.” Australian Federal Police (AFP) are investigating the case.
“AFP is making further inquiries in relation to this matter and it is not appropriate to comment further,” a spokeswoman said. Authorities have been on high alert for cases of arranged marriages in the wake of an Islamic State social media campaign to recruit young brides to wed terrorists. There is no suggestion this incident was IS-related.