I’m quite seriously in disbelief at this letter from Victoria Police in response to a complaint being made by a member of the public (a mother of three) for a breach of intervention order by the victim’s ex-husband, who attended the victim’s address without warning, even though a court-ordered IVO prohibits the respondent from approaching within 10 metres of the victim or 200 metres of the victim’s address. The officer, a Constable Sandro Lombardi, from Prahran police station, suggests the victim varies the order so that the respondent can “drop off the kids” to the address, even though a child protection order under the Family Law Act was in place outlining that any communication regarding the children, was to be via a lawyer, police or text message and that the dropping off and picking up, of the children, was to take place in a designated public place with a third party present.
Yeah, no problems, Lombardi. The respondent of the order attempted to strangle the victim in front of their three children (all aged under 6), leaving the victim fearing for her life and safety, which is why the magistrate stipulated in the intervention order strict proximity conditions for the respondent not to approach within 10 metres of the victim or 200 metres of the victim’s address, but “hey, vary the conditions, because we’re going to ignore any breaches of the order and override the magistrates’ court”.
Am I imagining all this? Are the police permitted to do this? Am I overreacting? In a climate where Chief Commissioner Ken Lay has declared war on violence against women and family violence? Quite seriously, I want to know, are the police actually within their rights to ignore and override a court-issued IVO?
I don’t even want to entertain the thought of how widespread this type of handling is throughout VicPol and how many other victims of similar crimes are subject to this kind of response.
The court-issued IVO