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Waitematā Police: Family Harm Risk Assessment and Triage Pilot

May 29, 2020 at 4:26 PM

From Waitematā Police

The Waitemata Whängaia Nga Pa Harakeke (WNPH) team is initiating a Family Harm Risk Assessment and Triage Pilot.  The pilot will run for 5 weeks, commencing Tuesday 2 June and operate between 1-9pm Monday to Friday and 8-4pm Saturday and Sunday.  The pilot will cover the whole Waitemata District – North, East and West.

This pilot will provide additional support and information for our frontline staff and most importantly provide an additional layer of support and safety planning for people experiencing family harm when attendance is delayed due to demand.

 

The process

Family harm calls for service are prioritised by Communications staff as either P1 or P2.  P1 calls require an immediate response and P2 calls should be attended within 30 minutes.  When demand for Police is high, we sometimes aren’t able to respond to P2 calls within 30 minutes.

When this occurs, trained WNPH staff will begin a Risk Triage Assessment.  We will be looking through our Police database and FSS for relevant information regarding the parties and will be updating our front line staff with this information.  Things like total number of 5F’s, who is the predominant aggressor in those 5F’s, circumstances of the last 5F, relevant criminal history, DYRA scores, SAVR scores, recent escalation in violence, history of strangulation, incidents of deliberate harm, protections order and breaches of such.  This information will better inform our front line staff of the situation they might be presented with.

On some occasions the WNPH Risk Triage member will call the complainant back and gather more information to make a better risk assessment, ie has the offender returned.  On those occasions we may re-prioritise the call as a P1.  Our staff may also start safety planning with the victim, ie, has the victim got somewhere safe they can go, is their mobile phone plugged in, location of their children etc.  In some cases our staff will start recording the information on the family harm report (5F).  If a 5F is started and Police attendance is still required, the partially completed 5F will be forwarded to front line staff for completion when they get there. 

In times of very high demand, the P2 5F might not be attended for many hours.  In those instances the WNPH Risk Triage team might undertake the following: 

Option One:  WNPH Risk Triage member will call the complainant back – if the complainant is still feeling unsafe and still wants Police attendance, we will reassure them that Police will attend and advise them the reasons for delay.    We will undertake further safety planning and ensure the front line Sergeant is aware of the risk or otherwise.  We will reiterate if circumstances change for the complainant to call 111 if their safety is compromised or harm is elevated.   

Option Two: WNPH Risk Triage member will call the complainant back – if the complainant is feeling safe and no longer wants Police attendance and the WNPH Risk Triage Member believes there is no risk to the complainant, the member may complete the 5F over the phone with the complainant.  On those occasions, best practice will see a FHIT unit undertaking a welfare visit with the complainant / victim the next day. 

Option Three: If after 24 hours there has still not been any attendance due to high demand elsewhere, the WNPH Risk Triage member will call the complainant back and may complete the 5F over the phone.  We will ensure the victim is safe, undertake safety planning, provide reassurance and of course advise the complainant to call 111 again if their circumstances change.  

The benefit of this pilot is that our team are best placed (within Police) to provide reassurance, support and safety advise for our victims.   We will also take the opportunity to talk to the victims about the various services and agencies available to them and may undertake referrals on the spot.  Agencies should see the information we provide included in the 5F report in FSS.

This process has been trialled successfully in CMD since April 7 and we hope it will add the same value for our victims and front line in Waitemata.  We are very interested in your feedback so if you have any issues, concerns or feedback (negative or positive) please don’t hesitate to give me a call.

Kind regards

Kelly

 

Kelly Farrant

(Acting) Detective Inspector

Whangaia Nga Pa Harakeke

Waitemata Police District

Mob     +64 021 191 4375

Land    +64 09 213 7927

Email   kelly.farrant@police.govt.nz



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