The Queensland Police Service (QPS) and Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Queensland recently announced a groundbreaking partnership in the detection, response to, and investigation of animal cruelty and domestic and family violence (DFV).
There is a proven linkage between the most serious animal cruelty and domestic and family violence, and this strategic partnership will see RSPCA and QPS share information in serious situations of animal neglect or cruelty under the Animal Care and Protection Act by people who are known to police, for police to flag as a potential indicator of or precursor to DFV.
This will allow police responding to a DFV incident to be aware of any history pertaining to alleged animal cruelty and take that reported history of violence towards animals into account in their investigations and response to the incident.
In addition, QPS will provide information to authorised RSPCA Inspectors to assist in their risk management practices in order to ensure the safety of the Inspectors. This is directly in relation to RSPCA Queensland attendance in response to investigations into animals or animal welfare offences.
The Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed earlier this month by RSPCA Queensland CEO Darren Maier and QPS Crime and Intelligence Command Assistant Commissioner Katherine Innes, uniting the agencies in the fight against domestic and family violence, this Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.
Assistant Commissioner Innes said animal cruelty is one indicator a person is capable of escalating to violence, particularly in domestic settings.
“This partnership will provide our frontline officers vital background information to assess the risk of DFV situations, helping us protect potential victims.”
“It is just one example of how QPS continues to strive to innovate in the DFV field, working with partner agencies like the RSPCA, to ensure victims safety remains a top priority,” Assistant Commissioner Innes said.
“Keeping our Inspectors safe as they respond to calls to investigate animal cruelty is paramount, and this strategic partnership will help us do that,” RSPCA CEO Darren Maier said.