Toowoomba bucks growing trend of DV order breaches
WHILE much of Queensland has struggled with a shocking rise in domestic violence order breaches, Toowoomba has turned the tables.
Over the year to February 2019, Queensland Police Service reported crime trend data showed a statewide increase of 10 per cent in the category of domestic violence order breaches.
Bucking that trend was the Darling Downs, which recorded a 17.7% decrease in the same period.
While he was far from "doing cartwheels down the street" about the statistics, Toowoomba Police sergeant Tony Rehn said it was a good reason for optimism that the decade-long stand Toowoomba residents, organisations, sporting clubs, schools and businesses had taken against violence was really taking effect.
Sgt Rehn said domestic violence incidents were one of the hardest things about being a police officer, but the Toowoomba community had gone well beyond the average in combating the issue.
"It's something that this city is working on in a lot more cohesive way," Sgt Rehn said.
"We have fantastic awareness, education and programs, but we don't want to be doing cartwheels down the street just yet."
About a decade ago a prominent campaign against violence in all its forms, but particularly against domestic violence, began in Toowoomba.
Toowoomba Says No 2 Violence received a wave of support and later became Toowoomba Together.
Coupled with an increase in coordination between local domestic violence support groups, homeless support groups and other organisations, it appeared the message was hitting home from schoolchildren up.
Toowoomba Together president John Minz said he would like to think the organisation's steady work with the community as well as the range of annual events and symposiums it held had gone some way to improving the statistics.