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Commission of Inquiry – Tasmania Police | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


Tasmania Police is committed to improving its responses to reports of sexual abuse and violence and enhancing programs that help target and reduce sexual abuse crimes.

Our organisation is focussed on ensuring that people reporting sexual crimes are treated with dignity and their reports are appropriately investigated and managed.

The release of the Commission of Inquiry’s Report into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings provides an opportunity for our Agency to learn from the mistakes we have made in the past, and ensure we have the best systems in place to support victim-survivors and our investigation processes going forward.

This page provides information on the measures Tasmania Police has already put in place to improve its processes and systems for investigation and support of people reporting crimes. It will also provide information in relation to further changes that are made in response to the report and the implementation of all recommendations that relate to our organisation. This work is ongoing as the Department reviews the report in detail to identify areas for ongoing improvement.

Information is also available on this page for people seeking support, wanting to report offences or seek further information.

 


Statement from the Commissioner

The Commission of Inquiry’s Report into the Tasmanian Government’s Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings has now been tabled in Parliament.

The tabling and release of the report provides an opportunity for our Agency to learn from the mistakes we have made in the past, and ensure we have the best systems in place to support victim-survivors, target and reduce sexual abuse crimes and our investigation processes going forward.

I want to acknowledge the people who chose to come forward and share their stories throughout this Inquiry, as well those who chose not to – as all of them show courage and bravery in their own personal journeys.

We are committed to reviewing the systems and processes we have in place, so we can improve our responses and ensure that people reporting sexual crimes are treated with dignity and their reports are appropriately investigated and managed.

Our Agency has already begun the process of implementing change, including:

  • significant changes to the Tasmania Police Manual to include very clear guidance and direction when dealing with child sexual abuse
  • reviewing and refining Tasmania Police guidelines for investigating child sexual abuse. This will ensure information relevant to these investigations is consolidated into a single protocol for ease of reference by police
  • strengthening relationships with partner agencies to enable more timely intervention for children at risk and provide better outcomes for victim-survivors
  • improving sharing of information with key government agencies, including information regarding child safety to ensure appropriate responses and actions are undertaken when information relating to child sexual abuse is received
  • implementing new mandatory family and sexual violence response training for police, which has been rolled out since January 2023
  • The opening of two multidisciplinary Arch Centres to provide victim-survivors of sexual violence with coordinated wrap around supports.

However, this is not the end of the change and reform process for our Agency.

The State Government has committed to fully implement all of the recommendations from the report. Over the coming weeks we will be reviewing the report in detail to identify the measures required from our Agency to ensure this commitment is met.

We will keep the community informed of this work as we progress.


Read the report

Content warning – the Report contains confronting material that will impact individuals in the community and the State’s employees, both current and former.

Read the Commission of Inquiry’s Report.


What we are doing

Since 2019, Tasmania Police has:

  • created a dedicated Family and Sexual Violence Command within Tasmania Police to deliver a cohesive response that fosters greater connectivity, intelligence sharing and response capacity, and brings together key work areas with a clear focus to prevent and respond to family and sexual violence
  • established a pilot of two multidisciplinary Arch Centres to provide victim-survivors of sexual violence with coordinated wrap around supports
  • commenced mandatory Family and Sexual Violence Response Training for police officers
  • improved sharing of information with key government agencies, including information regarding child safety to ensure appropriate responses and actions are undertaken when information relating to child sexual abuse is received
  • commenced a review of the Community Protection Offender Reporting Act 2005 which includes an intention to introduce a disclosure scheme to allow a parent or guardian to ask if a specific person who has regular unsupervised access to their child is recorded on the Sex Offender Register
  • renewal of the Joint Anti Child Exploitation Team (JACET) MOU with the Australian Federal Police, and placement of two dedicated AFP investigators into our child exploitation teams
  • undertaken changes to the Tasmania Police Manual to include very clear guidance and direction when dealing with child sexual abuse
  • introduced guidelines for investigating child sexual abuse to ensure information relevant to these investigations is consolidated into a single protocol for ease of reference by police officers
  • strengthened relationships with partner agencies to enable more timely intervention for children at risk and provide better outcomes for people who have experienced abuse.

Where to go for help and support

For help, advice or support about keeping children safe in Tasmania, or how to report abuse or concerns for the safety of a child, visit:

  • Keeping Children Safe – information about what the Tasmanian Government is doing to keep Tasmanian children and young people safe, where to go for advice, support or help, and information about financial assistance.
  • Tell Someone – advice about how to report abuse as an adult, for children under 18, or as a parent/caregiver/community member who has concerns about a child, and how to get help.
  • Strong Families Safe Kids the Strong Families Safe Kids advice and referral line is the first point of contact for child wellbeing and safety. For advice or to refer an abuse matter, contact the Advice and Referral Line (ARL) on 1800 000 123.
  • Safe from Violence – help, support, information and resources to support the community to be free from family and sexual violence
  • Where a crime may have been committed, contact police on 131 144 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
  • For an emergency where there is immediate risk of harm or a crime is happening now, contact police on 000.

The release of the Report may evoke strong emotions. If you need support, a range of free and confidential support services are available:

  • Lifeline 24/7 Crisis Support – 13 11 14
    A Tasmanian Lifeline: 8am–8pm, 365 days a year – 1800 98 44 34 for support and referral
  • Statewide Sexual Assault Support Line – 1800 697 877 (1800 MY SUPPORT)
    24/7 support from specialist counsellors provided by the Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS) and Laurel House
  • Relationships Australia, Tasmania – 1300 364 277
    Counselling, wellbeing information and referral available 9am–5pm, Monday to Friday
  • Arch – Sexual Harm Coordinated Support
    Arch is a safe place where you can get information and support if you are affected by sexual harm as a result of sexual violence. Visit the Arch website for more information
  • Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
    24/7 support for children and young people provided by specialist counsellors
  • Support for victim-survivors and witnesses of the Commission of Inquiry – 1800 093 758
    Support for victim-survivors and witnesses of the Commission of Inquiry is available from Commission of Inquiry Engagement and Support Officers from 12 September 2023 until the end of the year.

In an emergency, always call 000.


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Links to historical documents

 

 

 

 

 

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