Alcohol-fueled violence and domestic assault have put the Mandurah suburb of Falcon in the spotlight, with stats showing the suburb’s domestic violence rate more than double the state average.
According to a report by Public Health and Police released in July, alcohol-related domestic assault offences in Falcon have sky-rocketed in the last three years, staying consistently above the State rate.
In 2015 alone there were 32 alcohol-related domestic assault offences in the suburb, 15 more than two years before, in 2013.
That translates into 6.8 out of 1000 people committing some sort of domestic assault offence in 2015, a figure well above the Mandurah and state rate, both at 2.8.
Between January 2013 and December 2015, 172 people residing in Falcon were treated for alcohol-related episodes.
However, non-domestic assault offence rates have also increased in the area since 2013, from 0.9 to 1.9, both above the state rate.
The alarming figures were included in a decision report by the director of Liquor Licensing about the establishment of a Beer Wine Spirits (BWS) bottle shop at the Miami Plaza Shopping Centre, in the commercial heart of Falcon.
The department of liquor licensing resolved to reject the application on unsuitability grounds.
“I am of the view that the grant of the application is not in the public interest,” the report read.
“The potential negative impact of introducing a further convenience style packaged liquor outlet in this locality outweighs the marginal benefits of an increased level of convenience to some members of the community.
“The applicant’s evidence does not satisfy me that the welfare of the local community would not be adversely impacted by the grant of the application.”
Labor candidate for Dawesville Adam Woodage said the figures were disturbing, and accused the Liberal government of not being serious about domestic violence.
“Domestic violence is an issue that we need to continually work to eliminate in WA,” he said.
“The Liberal Government has not done enough to reduce the impact of domestic violence in our community.
“This government had been in office for eight years.
“If they were serious about domestic violence, they would have put in stronger measures years ago.”
Mr Woodage said the Labor party had introduced a raft of measures to protect victims of domestic violence earlier this year, including increased penalties for breaches of restraining orders, increased imprisonment for unlawful assault causing death and more support for victims.
But they were rejected by the Liberal government.
Liberal party candidate for Dawesville Zak Kirkup said it was disappointing to see the Labor party respond with political spin.
“It is disappointing the Labor party is responding with political spin instead of working with the community to try to solve this very serious problem,” he said.
He also said the statistics were appalling and distressing but services were working together to tackle the issue.
“Anyone reading these statistics would be shocked and horrified with the rise of domestic violence in Falcon,” he said.
“I’ve been in touch with our local domestic abuse outreach service Pat Thomas House and Peel Says No to Violence Regional Alliance.
“I’ll be meeting with these groups in the near future to get an understanding of the full scale of what’s happening and how I can help them in their response to domestic violence in our community.”
He said he would be raising the issue directly to Police minister Liza Harvey and Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan in a crime forum to be held in Mandurah on October 24.
Services in the Peel region to assist victims of domestic abuse include:
- Pat Thomas House: 08 9535 4775
- White Ribbon: 1800 199 00808
- Allambee Counselling: 08 9535 8263
To report an incident related to family and domestic violence, victims should call police on 131 444.
Victims of domestic violence in immediate danger should call 000.