Rise in Roebourne violence reports

Alicia PereraPilbara News
The West logo

An increase in domestic violence reports in Roebourne and surrounding areas over the past year has local authorities concerned.

Roebourne police acting officer-in-charge Jerry Samoa said more than double the usual number of domestic violence incidents were reported to the station two weeks ago, and it was part of a general rising trend in Roebourne.

"This financial year, compared to last financial year, there has been an increase in domestic violence offences," he said.

"They're still increasing now.

"We don't know why it is. We do work very hard to try to protect people who call for our help, but it's alarming that the statistics aren't decreasing."

Pilbara Community Legal Service victim support worker Janette Tallon said there had "definitely" been a rise in reported domestic violence incidents in the City of Karratha area.

"I'm a year into this role, and I can see a huge increase in domestic violence incidents and also in family violence - violence from grandchildren or children to their parents," she said.

"Probably my workload had doubled.

"Roebourne and Wickham have had a big increase, and I have noticed a slight increase in Karratha.

"I think in the Pilbara in the last year there's been a decline in work, a decline in finances, partners losing their jobs. I find there are a lot more one-off incidents where it's probably the stress of life."

New Karratha police family protection co-ordinator Cindy Morgan is heading up a more focused police approach against domestic violence.

She said myriad issues could have contributed to the increase, including alcohol and drugs, but a more positive reason may be more stringent reporting by police and greater community awareness.

"We've actually improved on our responses and reporting capabilities within the police," she said.

"So it is likely we'll get increases in our reports, but this should be viewed in a positive light, because it's more reflective of what's occurring. And that's important because it also means we can justify increases in resources and funding for all agencies."

Sgt Morgan said despite improved awareness, solving the problem was a long-term process.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails