Shooting leads to rise in reporting family violence

The shooting of two Dunedin children by their father has led to an increase in reporting of family violence incidents in the city, police say.

Dunedin police recorded 856 family violence-related incidents between July 2013 and February 2014, compared with 769 in the previous 12 months, already an 11% increase. 

Bradley and Ellen Livingstone were killed by their father, Edward (51), in their St Leonards home on January 15.

Inspector Mel Aitken said since the shooting police had been contacted daily by people ''saying they were worried about a certain person in our family, or a person has exhibited strange behaviour or said something strange''.

''In the past we would still get those calls but probably not so much.''

She cautioned those family violence-related incidents were ''not necessarily offences but what has been reported''.

Police took reports of family violence ''extremely seriously'', as the Prevention First Strategy aimed to place the victim at the centre of police decision-making.

''Increases in calls for service demonstrate society's intolerance to family violence,'' Insp Aitken said.


• In an emergency call 111.
• Women's Refuge National Helpline 0800 REFUGE (0800 733- 843).
• Shine Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0508 744-633.
• Child, Youth and Family Line: 0508 FAMILY (0508 326-459).
• Family Violence information line: 0800 456-450 (9am-11pm daily).

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