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Hunter DV offenders among state’s most dangerous

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Almost 600 people, including several from the Hunter, have been charged during a police operation targeting NSW’s most dangerous domestic violence (DV) offenders.

Operation Amarok III, an intelligence-based strategy led by each region’s Domestic Violence High-Risk Offender Teams (DVHROT), took place from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 July.

It involved officers from all police area commands and districts in NSW, as well as various proactive and specialist units.

Photo: NSW Police Force

During the operation, 592 people were arrested and, in addition to domestic violence-related offences, various other serious crimes were detected, including prohibited firearm and weapon possession, drug possession and supply, with a total of 1,107 charges laid.

Once such instance occurred at Heddon Greta.

About 1pm on Thursday 13 July, officers from Hunter Valley Police District served an FPO and a WPO on a 49-year-old man before conducting a search of a home.

They seized a rifle round, cocaine, drug paraphernalia, two phones, testosterone cypionate and a corn snake.

The reptile, deemed an exotic animal, was taken into care by the Department of Primary Industries.

The man was arrested and taken to Cessnock Police Station, where he was charged with two counts of possess prohibited drug, possess prescribed restricted substance, possess ammunition without licence, deal in or attempt to deal in protected animal and breach of bail.

He was refused bail to appear at Cessnock Local Court.

Of those arrested throughout the state, 139 were identified among NSW’s most dangerous DV offenders and 103 had outstanding warrants for violent offences.

Over the four days, police made 315 applications for Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVOs), served 500 outstanding ADVOs, completed 4882 ADVO compliance checks and 1,465 bail compliance checks.

They also conducted 116 Firearms Prohibition Orders (FPOs) searches at properties.

In total, police seized 22 firearms and 40 prohibited weapons, as well as various types of illicit drugs located with 89 detections.

Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism Yasmin Catley said with more than 139,000 calls for police assistance and in excess of 33,000 actual domestic-related assaults every year, the issue of DV could not be understated.

“These figures show this is an epidemic,” the Swansea MP stated.

“We know domestic and family violence is one of the most underreported crime types.

“The police have my full support on this.

“I back the government agencies working together to stamp out this type of behaviour.

“Operation Amarok sends a strong message to offenders that they’re in the sights of police.

“You’ve been warned.

“Your predatory behaviour will be policed to your door.”

NSW Police corporate sponsor for domestic and family violence Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon admitted more than half the state’s murders were domestic violence-related.

“In order to ensure the safety of actual and potential victims of domestic and family violence, Operation Amarok is a deliberate strategy targeting the most dangerous offenders,” he said.

“While any form is unacceptable, those offenders who pose the greatest threat to victims, those who continue to offend, and those who commit serious criminal offences are firmly in our sights.

“This type of offending is violent, confronting and targeted.

“Amarok elevates our focus on those offenders who often display the dangerousness and violence of organised crime figures and the fixation of terrorists to ensure that we stop their offending behaviour and protect victims.”

  • Information about the NSW Police Force response to domestic and family violence can be found online: https://www.police.nsw.gov.au/crime/domestic_and_family_violence.
  • Victims of domestic and family violence can find information about support services by contacting 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visiting: https://www.1800respect.org.au.
  • Reports of domestic and family-related crime or abuse can be made by contacting or attending your local police station. In an emergency, contact Triple Zero (000).

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