What lies beneath...

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Two police officers out the front of a door.

May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month - the role that Western Australia Police play not only in the response to incidents but in the prevention of the worst outcomes is key aspect to stop this vicious circle spinning.

The quiet leafy suburbs serviced by Kensington Police Station  are bathed in warm Autumn sunshine underneath cornflower blue skies.

It seems picture perfect but, like most other parts of the State, it’s not untouched by the dark underbelly of life behind closed doors. Officers are dealing with cases of family and domestic violence on a daily basis.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in family and domestic violence incidents,” explains Senior Sergeant Dan Allen, an officer with over 21 years’ experience.

“That and welfare checks, which are often related to FDV (Family Domestic Violence), are on the rise.”

This certainly rings true, with officers attempting to serve an FDVRO (Family and Domestic Violence Restraining Order) on one job, and then providing support and advice to a victim on the next.

After attempting to serve an FDVRO at one well kempt home, Constable Josh Blackman and Probationary Constable Chan Park attend another home - just a few streets away - after a caller reported an incident involving her ex-partner.

The pair were separated but the ex-partner had deliberately left furniture and personal items behind to give him an excuse to continue to attend the caller’s home.

He came uninvited and they had argued verbally over baby milk.

He angrily left the location, tyres screeching, with threatening gestures and yelling abuse out the car window.

“I’m just sick of looking over my shoulder every five minutes, I’m scared. I’m scared,” the young mother confides. Constables Blackman and Park provide the caller with a number of resources and contact information for support services.

They explain the benefits of seeking an FDVRO against her ex-partner and how the process can be completed online.

The mother of the caller’s ex-partner arrives and provides a reassuring hug.

“Are you ok? I’ve brought the ute. I’m going to take all his things, so he has no excuse to come back here.”

Kensington OIC, A/Inspector Mike Tite reinforces Sgt Blair’s earlier statements.

“We’ve had three interactions with State Family Violence this week. They’ve been talking to the team about the realities of FDV incidents, its causes and outcomes. Providing updates around changes to the legislations and actions they can take but, unfortunately, it is such a very big part of the job.”