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Media Release July 2012 - Domestic Violence and Police

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MEDIA RELEASE

Sex Party Will Target Domestic Violence

Fiona Patten, the Australian Sex Party’s candidate for the vacant seat of Melbourne, says that a more targeted approach to domestic violence will be a key component of her campaign to win the seat in the upcoming by-election.

Ms Patten was highly critical of the current deployment of resources by Victoria Police: “Domestic Violence comprises almost 50% of reported assaults in Victoria and this is the most unreported category of assaults. The real figure is probably several times greater”.

“Yet Victoria Police continue to saturate late night entertainment venues where the assault rate is less than 2% of reported assaults and is the only category to be in decline” said Ms Patten.

Ms Patten added “It would appear that Victoria Police has a deliberate policy of disrupting legitimate businesses in the same way that they attempt to disrupt organised crime networks, which is scandalous.

“It is common practice for Victoria Police to send over 20 officers into Melbourne’s late night entertainment venues at their busiest time, tie up key management staff for up to an hour and simply check red lines on plans that haven’t changed in 15 years, staff training records, signage and other technicalities.

“Authorities would not disrupt a pilot in mid flight or fire fighters attending an emergency simply to check their credentials so what is Victoria Police’s rationale in putting at risk the duty of care that small business operators have in regard to their patrons.

“This work also duplicates the work of Gaming and Licensing Compliance Officers and could easily be done more effectively by arrangement with small business operators during the week. This inefficient duplication of effort was highly criticised by the Victorian Auditor General in a report released last week.

“Victoria Police has also been issuing licensed venues with infringement notices on dubious grounds, quite likely to meet performance quotas, only to drop charges before they are heard in Court, which leaves small business operators with huge legal bills.

“One of Melbourne’s iconic venues, the Palace Theatre (formerly the Metro) has just been forced into receivership and Melbourne cannot afford to lose any more if it wants to promote itself as a genuine cosmopolitan 24 hour City.

“The Australian Sex Party recognises the importance of providing the community with a diverse range of social opportunities. Encouraging people to get out more and socialise is a key element of addressing domestic violence. Effective deployment of police resources is another.

“The Australian Sex Party is a civil rights party and promotes the rights of adults to socialise freely. The policies of the other major parties clearly run counter to this aim.

“I urge Melbourne voters to put the Australian Sex Party first on July 21 if they are serious about addressing domestic violence and protecting Melbourne’s vibrant entertainment industry” concluded Fiona Patten.

For further information contact:

Fiona Patten 0413 734 613

Robbie Swan 0413 871 604

Fiona Patten

Convenor

Australian Sex Party

241 King St Melbourne VIC 3000

Head off. - 02 62852477

0413 734 613

www.sexparty.org.au