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Police make first arrest under new family violence law

Police make first arrest under new family violence legislation

A 21-year-old Counties Manukau man has been charged with strangulation following a family harm incident on 3 December.

He appeared in the Manukau District Court on Tuesday 4 December, and has been remanded to reappear on 20 December 2018.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ross Ellwood says the arrest is the first under the new family violence legislation that was introduced on Monday.

“The fact it has been used so soon after being introduced shows how important this new legislation will be in preventing family harm and keeping our community safe.

“We know that strangulation is a serious risk marker in family harm situations.

There is obviously significant risk to victims, and it is often a precursor for more serious violence, including homicide,” he says.

“ This new offence carries a maximum 7 year sentence, reflecting the seriousness of this type of offending”.

The victim in this case also gave a video statement.

Victim Video Statements have now been used over 1300 times across the Auckland region.

The new family violence legislation introduced on Monday also includes new law meaning that victims of family violence offending will be entitled to have their Victim Video Statements played in court.

Police will no longer have to apply to court to have these interviews played on behalf of Victims.

“This new way of recording a victim’s statement has been a success.

We have seen a vastly improved victim experience, a large reduction in the time taken to take a statement, and a significant improvement in the quality of the evidence Police are gathering”, says Ellwood.

“The new family harm offences, the use of victim video statements, and the law change making it easier to play these statements in court, will help us hold offenders to account.

“Family violence continues to remain a significant issue for far too many New Zealanders and we are committed to reducing the harm it causes,” he says.

Police attend over 100 thousand family harm events a year, and we know that the holiday season can mean higher rates of violence.

Anyone who is experiencing or witnessing family harm is encouraged to speak up and seek help.

As the case is now before the court Police cannot provide further on the specifics of the incident.

ENDS

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