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Police, Fire and Emergency Management – Family Violence Procedure

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 26 November 2020

Tags: Family Violence, Coronial Inquest

Dr WOODRUFF - This is to the commissioner, but you can choose to answer it as you wish. Minister, on 21 October the Commissioner of Police replied to some of our inquiries relating to the findings of the coroner into the death of Ms Olga Neubert. Some of the responses from the commissioner particularly around the nature of firearm systems in this case fully assuaged our concerns and we appreciate them. However, we still have an outstanding matter in the commissioner's response which was not completely satisfied.

We understand there were family violence-related records at the disposal of the department which were not looked at when Ms Norbert sought help. A police internal review found this did not constitute a breach of policy.

We asked the commissioner if this conduct would not constitute a breach of policy and the commissioner's response was -

The review identified better ways to respond to situations such as these which have since been implemented and incorporated into current policy.

This does not specifically address the question we asked. Could we please get an answer specifically on whether a failure to look up family violence records in these circumstances would now constitute a breach of departmental policy?

Mr HINE - Thank you for the opportunity to further clarify. If there is a policy there and someone does not demonstrate and follow the policy, yes, it would be a possible breach, depending on the circumstances of the situation.

If there is policy there and a police officer is not following that policy, they obviously have to explain. If the explanation is not satisfactory, it could very well be a breach of policy. Hopefully that has answered your question?

Dr WOODRUFF - You did confirm in your response the policy has been implemented, the recommendations have been incorporated into current policy, so is there a policy that would require this to happen now?

Mr HINE - Yes, and under the Tasmania Police Manual, if there is an order or policy, it has almost the force of law. If someone does not follow it, there is an investigation or they are asked why and the circumstances followed up.