Government hears GPS bracelets won't prevent DV fatalities

DOMESTIC violence support groups have welcomed Federal Government calls for repeat offenders to wear GPS ankle bracelets, but warned it will not end women being killed by their partners.

The federal government plans to put the ankle bracelets on the COAG meeting agenda. Tracking bracelets are currently used to monitor sex offenders in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and South Australia.

Speaking on ABC TV, Crossroads Community Care's Christine Bird said the proposal was positive, but would not stop domestic violence occurring.

She said some women were killed by first time domestic violence perpetrators.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott yesterday said the government needed to work with the states to implement the proposal.

"This is a matter where the Commonwealth obviously has to work in the closest possible harmony with the states and territories," he said.

"We want to look at really lifting our game when it comes to dealing with the scourge of domestic violence.

"It's completely unacceptable, it's a scourge its got to end and yes we should be prepared to look at all new initiatives … particularly with repeat offenders."

The federal government also pledged yesterday an extra $4 million in funding for the 1800 RESPECT helpline for the victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Social Services minister Scott Morrison said the government was responding to increased demand for the service.

"This additional investment reflects the fact that keeping women and children safe from violence is a national priority for the Coalition Government," he said.

In 2013-14 over 43,600 contacts were made to 1800RESPECT compared with about 20,000 in 2010-11. In 2014-15, about 35,000 contacts have been recorded to March 2015. - APN NEWSDESK



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