NSW Police consider Supreme Court orders to stop domestic violence homicides
Smith said that some of those arrested “of course scare me” and that “with years of organized crime behind me and tactics around me [Strike Force} Raptor and applying strategies that suppress behaviour, it concerns me that individuals like this are out in public”.
He is looking at how tactics used to prevent other forms of serious violent crime can be deployed against domestic violence.
“In counter-terrorism we have the Fixated Persons Unit, in child protection we have the registry, obviously with organised crime we have Raptor,” he said. “We use those strategically and tactically to suppress behaviour that goes hand in hand with [violence].”
Smith said police had recently had success with SCPOs in cracking down on organized crime-related murder via the High Court, “and we believe the same tactic is required for DV”.
Smith, Assistant Commissioner for South West Sydney and a former head of State Crime Command, leads NSW Police’s response to domestic and family violence, and is the chief operating officer of Amarok.
He is working closely with Deputy Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon, NSW Police’s domestic and family violence corporate sponsor and also a former state crime commander, on the domestic violence reform project.
The pair expect Operation Amarok to become to domestic violence offenders what the Raptor Squad has become to bikie gangs – a ubiquitous presence with frequent raids and arrests, serving as a constant reminder to offenders that they are never far from the arm of the law is not off
Lanyon said domestic violence had proved “largely intractable”, with police responding to 17 domestic violence murders in 2022. That amounts to more than one person killed each month, and more than double the number of gang-related murders in the same period.
There were also more than 139,000 calls to the police last year for assistance in relation to domestic violence, and 33,000 individual assaults.
He said that each of those numbers “could represent a victim, a number of children and a range of loved ones.”
The devastating impact of domestic violence “means it’s everyone’s issue and it’s something we can work together as a community to improve,” he said.
Support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Advice Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Crisis support is available from Lifeline on 13 11 14 and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.