The Code of Practice for the NSW Police Force response to Domestic and Family Violence (Code of Practice) outlines how police officers will respond to reports of domestic and family violence and emphasises that all such reports will be treated seriously by police. This Code of Practice recognises that domestic and family violence also is experienced by individuals in same sex relationships and abuse is also experienced by transgender and intersex people.

The police response to, and investigation of, domestic and family violence is governed by operational policies and procedures, legislative requirements, the NSW Police Handbook and the Code of Practice for the NSW Police Force response to Domestic and Family Violence. Police action will be consistent with the NSWPF Code of Conduct and Ethics, the Customer Service Charter and the Charter of Victims Rights (State of New South Wales through Victims Services, NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice).

Police Act on Any Reports

The NSWPF acknowledges that a strong and effective criminal justice response can have a deterrent effect. Police will respond to domestic and family violence incidents reported to them, regardless of who made the report, or where, when, why or how it was made. The action taken will be based on an assessment of the incident and whether a domestic violence offence has been committed, regardless of whether the person in need of protection makes a verbal complaint, recorded or written statement. 

In meeting this policy of mandated action, police will: 

  • take immediate action to protect and support the person in need of protection; 
  • be sensitive to the individual circumstances of each incident; 
  • investigate all domestic and family violence incidents coming to their notice by gathering background information and physical evidence, including pictures, video recording, clothing and statements from all victims and witnesses; 
  • arrest any offenders where it is appropriate; 
  • pursue criminal and or civil options (Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders) where there is sufficient evidence to do so, and regardless of whether an arrest has been made; 
  • refer all parties involved who give written consent, to appropriate services; and
  • record all domestic and family violence incidents reported to them with a view to identifying repeat offenders, monitoring trends, and identifying persons who are either at risk or high risk.

IN AN EMERGENCY CALL 000 and ask for the police. The police will attend the situation and will take immediate action to protect and support the person in need of protection. Police will most often make an application for an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) on your behalf.

If it is not an emergency, you can call or attend your local police station to report the threats, abuse and violence. A police officer will take your statement. If you attend a police station to report the domestic violence you can report to any police officer. There are also specialist Domestic Violence Liaison Officers (DVLOs) and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI) Liaison Officers (commonly known as GLLOs) who may be able to assist you.

The Aboriginal Community Liaison Officer (ACLO) is a member of the Local Area Command, Crime Management Team with the responsibility for providing advice and support to Police in the management of Aboriginal issues across the Local Area Command (LAC). ACLOs assist in developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing programs that bring about positive outcomes between Police and Aboriginal people. The ACLO works closely with the Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal service providers in their day-to-day activities.