Aust and NZ join forces to combat domestic violence

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the New Zealand Police have signed a unique agreement to work together to reduce domestic violence in the Pacific.

The two agencies will be working specifically in the Micronesian police services where a joint approach will ensure a better level of support in this part of the Pacific.

The AFP and the NZ Police will link together through the Pacific Prevention of Domestic Violence Programme (PPDVP). The PPDVP is a joint initiative of the New Zealand Aid Programme, NZ Police, and the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police. The programme aims to increase the capacity of pacific police to work effectively against reported instances of domestic violence and to achieve this through partnerships with other agencies and the community.

"PPDVP Programme Manager Cam Ronald welcomed the agreement with the AFP."

"The PPDVP has had a strong focus on the Polynesian countries and especially those near to New Zealand. We have also assisted other pacific police services, including those in Micronesia, but at a reduced level of support."

"Having the AFP come on board with their focus on the Micronesia police services ensures a standard approach across the pacific to reduce the harm caused by domestic violence."

The AFP have appointed an officer who will work with Micronesian police services which include the Republic of Palau, the four police forces in the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Guam Police Department also supports these police services.

Work will include assisting in the setting up of specialised domestic violence units, training police staff and building partnerships with non-government organisations who support victims of domestic violence.

AFP Pacific Police Development programme coordinator, Superintendent Frank Clare said the agreement was a first for the two agencies.

"Working with the PPDVP which has established procedures and processes in place allows the AFP to meet our commitments in the region and to support the overall enhancement of police services in the northern pacific.

"This is the first such agreement between our Police Services and it demonstrates our common interests in working with the pacific police and their communities."

The agreement will come into effect on 1 January 2013 and is for four years.

The first deployment of the AFP and the PPDVP will occur in February, following familiarisation and training with PPDVP in New Zealand and with the Programmes regional partners in Fiji in January.

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