Sending more domestic violence offenders before the courts is a top priority for the new Commander of Lake Illawarra Police District.
Superintendent Craig Ireland began his new position on Monday replacing the newly appointed Assistant Commissioner Dean Smith, with a few key issues already flagged for his attention.
"Domestic violence is a major one, there's some mental health issues we always need to address, and the scourge of drugs," Superintendent Ireland said.
"Everything here is not unique to Lake Illawarra, but these are the sorts of things I want to get my teeth straight into."
The top cop spent the last two years in Griffith leading the Murrumbidgee Police District, where many communities in the region were over-represented in domestic violence statistics.
He said his major achievements in that regard were increasing the arrest rate and the prosecution rate for domestic violence offenders, and he will employ similar strategies in the Illawarra.
"You'll see a pro-arrest policy here that I'll enforce strictly with my officers," Superintendent Ireland said.
"If there's an opportunity to put these people before the court, make them accountable for their actions and try and break the cycle - that's the direction I want to be going in."
He said the main tactics would be to arrest and charge offenders, encourage people to come forward, and ensure victim support mechanisms were available so victims were confident in coming forward.
Domestic violence related incidents have remained stable over the past three years, and take up, on average, half the workload of officers within Lake Illawarra Police District.
Another major goal for the area is for Superintendent Ireland to get everyone "on the same page' - being police, the community and governments.
"The main goal I've got is to see our police customer service focused, working with the community, having a partnership with our community members and all levels of government ... so we are all on the one page working together," he said.
Superintendent Ireland joined the NSW Police Force in 1988 and has an extensive operational background, holding various frontline positions at Sutherland, Miranda, Bankstown and Hurstville.
He was also a part of the management team at the Dog Unit at Menai for three years, before being promoted to Inspector in 2009 in Wagga Wagga.
In recent times he has relieved extensively as Commander of Cabramatta, Camden, Hawkesbury, Macquarie Fields, Campbelltown, Fairfield and Lake Illawarra.
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