Edited by Nelly T.
In an Australian first, access to a partner’s criminal history is now available to those concerned they are at risk of domestic violence.
People concerned for their safety have now been given the opportunity to walk into a police station and request information about their partner’s convictions and breaches of domestic violence orders, from today onwards.
The historic charges available for viewing are murder, manslaughter, sexual assault, property damage, stalking and intimidation, breaches of apprehended violence order and child abuse.
Family, friends and other concerned third parties are able to make an application however the information can only be revealed to the person who may be at risk.
It takes two weeks to process the application and people considered to be a high risk will be notified within 48 hours.
Pru Goward, NSW’s Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence said it was important to empower victims with information.
“We want victims to no longer be in the dark,” Ms. Goward said.
“We want them to have a sense of control what they will do next.”
Discloser, especially in the case of third-party applications will be treated with the utmost caution so as to prevent putting a person in danger, assistant commissioner Mick Fuller said.
“The goal is to empower them (potential victims) to make perhaps the most challenging decision, which is to leave before they’re a victim of violence,” he said.
“We go to great lengths to make sure that the person who is a subject to the application isn’t made aware.”
A two-year evaluation of pilot programs will be held at Sutherland and St George in Sydney and the regional areas of Shoalhaven and Oxley.
Although similar to the scheme in the UK Ms. Goward assures that the NSW pilot has a stronger emphasis on service delivery and faster disclosure times.