29 Jun 2010

Crime victims benefit from levy on offenders

9:53 pm on 29 June 2010

Justice Minister Simon Power has launched a package of programmes to help victims of crime, including a $50 levy which convicted offenders pay towards new support services for victims.

Under the Victims of Crime Initiative, which comes into force on Thursday, police will be able to issue the on-the-spot safety orders to anyone they believe could carry out acts of domestic violence.

A person receiving an order would have to leave their home for five days.

Police Commissioner Howard Broad says he is sure officers can be enforce compliance with the new safety orders.

The national Network of Stopping Violence Services says the orders will add to the pressure on already stressed community groups.

Manager Brian Gardner says women's refuges and other social service agencies have waiting lists and can't get out to see people.

The network wants at least $4 million in annual funding so its field workers can work with directly with families at the heart of the violence and help them to build skills.

Orders will help police

The police officers' union says it's happy with the on-the-spot safety orders, but doesn't want the scheme to bring another layer of paperwork.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor says the orders will help police intervene before violence escalates, but points out police are already snowed under with paperwork.

"This is actually about helping victims, and the only time it will fail is if we become so bogged down with compliance that in fact we don't have time to ... help the victims."