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Top cop ‘shocked’ by surge in family violence during coronavirus lockdown

Victoria’s Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says he is “shocked” by the surge in family violence since coronavirus lockdown began.

Victoria Police today revealed cases of family violence are up by 7 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Police have conducted 2500 proactive checks on known victims and perpetrators of family violence since April 13, as part of Operation Ribbon, which was set up to prevent the anticipated rise in family violence during lockdown.

Almost 800 offences and more than 100 people have been charged and remanded in custody. Another 98 people have been arrested to appear in court.

“That’s a lot of serious offending that proactively door knocking and checking on victims has produced,” Mr Ashton told Neil Mitchell.

“I was shocked myself when I saw the numbers.”

The Chief Commissioner said the figures show police need a renewed focus on family violence, even after the pandemic ends.

“It’s shown that we’ve got a job there to make sure we add more resourcing into family violence,” he said.

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