Mandurah family violence team's new look

A special Mandurah police team dedicated to tackling family violence in the community have welcomed a new chief.

Paul Trimble has transitioned from his role as community engagement officer, to officer in charge of the Mandurah Family Violence Team.

The unit consists of police, child protection family support and a community referral service.

Last year, officers in the Mandurah police district attended more than 7000 calls to police for assistance related to family violence matters.

Sergeant Trimble said there were misconceptions about what constituted family violence.

"Many people believe family violence only occurs where there is a physical assault," he said.

"In addition to any actual violence or threat of violence, it is also any behaviour that in any way coerces or controls a family member, or causes them to be fearful, for their own, or another family member's safety or wellbeing," he said.

"Everyone has the right to feel safe and if they are not, due to being mistreated, we want them to know we are here to help if they ever want support."

Sergeant Trimble said, "one family violence incident is one too many".

"Not just in Mandurah, across the board, there is a constant flow of family violence incidents," he said.

"We try and see what we can do to reduce the risk of them occurring again."

In the past three years within the Mandurah police district, there have been more than 3000 breaches of domestic family violence restraining orders, according to WA Police statistics.

Sergeant Trimble said breaches were dealt with by police as a matter of urgency.

"It's quite constant, which is concerning, but that's why we follow up on them quickly and make sure all breaches are dealt with and the person who breached it is charged and the victim knows they are supported through it," he said.

"If the victim wants to come to the station at any time we're happy to speak to them about the things we can put in place to help keep them safe."

Sergeant Trimble said the team reacted to incidents, but also focused on prevention.

"In a more recent initiative, we are now working with local schools to try and change the mindset of young people, helping them understand what a healthy relationship is," he said.

For support or for family violence inquiries, contact the Mandurah Family Violence Team on 9581 0278. If the matter is life-threatening call 000.