News

Cop cameras to reveal male victims: solicitor

A NORTHERN Rivers solicitor has welcomed new laws that will equip all NSW police officers attending domestic violence incidents with body-mounted cameras.

The cameras, which international research has shown improves police behaviour and assists with convictions, are expected to be distributed to all frontline officers in coming years.

Sue Dakin, the principal solicitor at Dakin Law, Ballina, believes the array of shocking footage captured by police will challenge the stereotype that men are, by and large, responsible for violence in the home.

"Cameras do not discriminate when it comes to information being recorded," she said.

"We don't want to view women as perpetrators of violence, but we cannot ignore it.

"Be it as a result of financial pressures, mental health issues or just a mere inability to cope with the pressures of society's expectations, there are a significant number of cases where men charged with domestic violence assaults are merely the victims of their own silence when it comes to domestic violence outbursts experienced in their homes."

Mrs Dakin said it should be clear neither gender had the right to hit, injure or intimidate their partner or children.

"All too often now, a significant number of men are having to come home to the rage of an angry and destructive partner and they simply don't know how to cope other than in wearing their partner's verbal and physical abuse, or reacting in self-defence or defence of their children," she said.

""But recording of injuries inflicted on persons, the devastation revealed as a result of violent destructive behaviour and the antics of those after such an event will speak louder than any witness personally involved when it comes to a court hearing."

Mrs Dakin said she spoke out based on results of her discussions with male victims of domestic violence.

"Bring it on. Male victims will now have a voice when it comes to impartial evidence in courts," she said.

The Police Association of NSW said the cameras would have significant benefits for officers and the communities they worked in.

Topics:  crime, domestic violence, police




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