The Auckland City Police Family Harm unit typically receives around 35-40 family harm incident reports every day. The most serious are then referred to us, which is what creates the majority of our frontline work. Because of this, Shine holds an important presence at the Police Station, alongside Oranga Tamariki, Corrections, and Te Whare Ruruau O Meri Trust.
All family harm incidents attended by Police across Auckland City go via the Police Family Harm Unit, based at the Balmoral Police Station. These vary widely and involve a range of family and intimate partner dynamics. Police call-outs can be everything from worried neighbours, to partners who are concerned about self-harm, to strangulations and hospitalisations.
Each weekday, a special team hold a meeting known as the SAM table (Safety Assessment Meeting). During this, they go through all domestic violence reports and match the best social service for each victim, ensuring they are referred on to the most relevant support appropriate to their situation.
The Family Harm Unit refers to Shine the most high-risk cases where the victim is either in crisis, seriously injured, and/or still in danger of further violence.
At the centre of everything, our wonderful Shine advocates work closely with clients to ensure the best outcomes for them. It is critical that each individual experiencing family harm is contacted as soon as possible after the incident.
Where there is urgent support required for a high-risk victim, the Unit will not wait for the daily SAM table but will contact Shine immediately, and we always have staff available (including on-call outside office hours) to ensure that we can respond promptly where necessary.
The partnership and communication between the New Zealand Police and Shine is incredibly important, especially as we are continuing to see increasing numbers of family harm incidents.