Two dedicated officers dealt with more than 6000 domestic violence incidents in the Lake Illawarra police district in just 12 months, according to a scathing report.
The New South Wales Auditor-General's performance audit of how NSW Police tackle domestic and family violence was released on Monday.
Among other things, the report found initiatives to improve domestic violence policing were not monitored or supported; the system for recording and managing incidents is clunky and will not be replaced for years and little guidance was given to officers working with domestic violence.
More worryingly, the report found performance reporting on responses to domestic and family violence was limited to the amount of activity, rather than quality of service or outcomes.
It also said procedures to investigate complaints of domestic violence against police officers were not "sufficiently independent of interested parties".
The NSW Police Force does not capture or analyse domestic and family violence service quality feedback to understand and improve the experiences of victim-survivors
"As a result, it has a limited understanding of its service quality from the perspective of victim-survivors of domestic and family violence," the report read.
The Auditor-General's Office also found there was "limited" workforce planning about whether the amount of specialist police allocated to an area was adequate.
In Lake Illawarra police district, each specialist officer was faced with 3073 incidents in the year from 2020-21.
Auburn Police Area Command had the best ratio of officers to incidents, with seven full-time equivalent officers to respond to 2,574 events - just shy of 368 events per officer for the year.
Wollongong police district had four officers to handle 3366 incidents, a ratio of 841.5 incidents per officer.
South Coast police district had seven officers to handle 6890 incidents, at a ratio of just more than 984 incidents per officer.
The Auditor-General's office urged an overhaul of the NSW Police force approach to domestic violence, including better data collection and analysis, improved resourcing and collaboration with stakeholders.
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