Cultural awareness gaps, Qld DV probe told

·2-min read

An inquiry into the police response to domestic violence incidents in Queensland has heard there are gaps in cultural awareness between officers and residents in rural and remote regions.

The probe began its Townsville leg of sittings on Thursday after spending two days hearing submissions in Cairns earlier this week.

QPS' Deputy Commissioner for regional Queensland Paul Taylor told the inquiry domestic violence incidents are a challenging topic of discussion in remote and rural settings with police handover needing improvement.

"There's no reason why police handover should not be a lot more comprehensive around issues around domestic violence," he said.

"And particularly risks around vulnerability and the risks around perpetrators - there's no doubt that that could be a lot better."

One way to tackle that issue, he said, is developing packages to suit each area and the needs of its people.

"It needs to have the local content and it needs to be an accepted package by the broader community," Deputy Commissioner Taylor said.

"One of the challenges we've had is getting consistent agreement ... as to what the package should do."

Issues raised included the education younger officers receive in dealing with domestic violence call outs.

Counsel assisting the Women's Legal Service Kylie Hillard asked Deputy Commissioner Taylor how the issue might be addressed.

"That's something that needs to be done - if it's being done in any fashion whatsoever at the moment, it needs to be improved on greatly," the deputy commissioner said.

"There needs to be - particularly with younger police that haven't experienced that before - a really good understanding of victims' vulnerability and their disposition because of circumstances.

"I don't think that's well understood by young police in particular."

Cross-cultural capability was also questioned, with Queensland Police Service members often uprooted from metropolitan areas to remote communities.

Deputy Commissioner Taylor said police need to "do a lot better" in addressing gaps in cultural awareness.

"People might come in early, spend a day or two (in a community) and then they're out," he told the inquiry.

"So there does need to be a broader cross-cultural capability around the broader region."

Judge Deborah Richards is heading the independent commission created in response to Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce recommendations.

The commission is due to report by October 4.

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