Calls for overhaul of DV system as numbers on the Gold Coast soar

One of the Gold Coast’s leading criminal lawyers wants police to be given greater opportunity to investigate domestic violence cases rather than simply handing out domestic violence orders.

The Coast’s legal system is swamped by domestic violence matters and has prompted more calls for Family Court in the city.

Newscorp reports there have been 2395 breaches on the Gold Coast in the last year, 105 more than last year.


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The Gold Coast is also the worst region in the state for DV orders in 2017-18.

Director of Gatenby Criminal Lawyers, Michael Gatenby, believes the high number is due to police handing out apprehension orders “whenever they’re called out”.

“The pendulum’s swung in favour of police officers taking out applications,” he told MyGC.

“There isn’t discretion for a police officer not to take out domestic violence orders. The old-fashioned police investigating seems to have gone out the window now if police are called out to a case.”

He added that the current method can be condescending to a lot of victims as they’re not being given a voice.

Currently, in Queensland, a domestic violence order can stop someone approaching your home or work, staying in your home, approaching your relatives or going to a child’s school.