ACT Policing has announced two new dedicated family violence and community safety teams in a significant restructure designed to strengthen its response to domestic abuse.
Chief police officer Rudi Lammers said the new teams were already in place as he announced the sharpened focus on Thursday, with hopes they would become a "significant presence" in ACT Policing.
He said four violent deaths allegedly linked to family violence this year and a growing number of reports of domestic abuse prompted police to shift their priorities.
The new teams, which are made up of both sworn and unsworn officers, will operate alongside frontline police and detectives, who will continue to attend and investigate family violence offences.
"What has been missing, and what we will see with the establishment of these two teams, is a coordinating unit that actually draws linkages between those very first complaints of family violence and the higher-end offences," Assistant Commissioner Lammers said.
"Over a period of time we're hopeful this new approach of early intervention, of working with victims much more closely and working with perpetrators will reduce the level of crime in the community.
"It's a long-term plan, there's no overnight fix for this."
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said the team would co-ordinate family violence reports from the first phone call to police and there would no longer be a need for victims to tell their story multiple times to different people.
"The first complaint of family violence will be known to the family violence unit and it doesn't matter where a subsequent complaint occurs, that unit will co-ordinate all of it."
They will also drive ongoing training for officers, risk assessment strategies, policy and legislative reform and look at world's best practice in approaches to tackling domestic violence.
"From the moment an officer steps into the Australian Federal Police College, through to the moment they retire, there will be a continuum of family violence training around the dynamics of family violence and our role in preventing, intervening and prosecuting these matters."
Community safety teams would take in the agency's existing crimes reduction strategies and target early intervention, property crime, recidivist offenders and inter-generational crime with a heavy focus on family violence matters.
They will support frontline officers investigating family violence offences, help victims apply for domestic violence orders and monitor bail, parole and court orders of high risk offenders.
One of the key points of difference will be a greater focus on complaints for domestic violence offences traditionally considered less serious, such as intimidation and emotional or financial abuse.
Police would draw on intelligence to build pictures of domestic violence perpetrators and their offending over time to help them intervene early and provide better support to victims early on and greater accountability for offenders issued with court orders.
"We will continue to have a very hard-line on family violence offenders, we will continue with a pro-arrest, pro-charge, no bail policy on offenders," Assistant Commissioner Lammers said.
The domestic violence team will be led by Station Sergeant Jo Cameron and based at Belconnen, while Station Sergeant Jason Kennedy will oversee two regional community safety teams in the territory's north and south.
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said staff had been drawn from other areas of ACT Policing and the reshuffle would not mean a reduction in frontline police officers.
The two teams will expand on the work of the Family Violence Intervention Program, which has run for the past 17 years, and complement strengthened domestic violence laws to be introduced in the ACT.
Assistant Commissioner Lammers said tackling domestic violence required a community-wide response and police would continue to work with government and non-government domestic violence support services.
Police Minister Joy Burch said the changes were part of a raft of anti-family violence measures pursued by the government, including strengthened domestic violence legislation.
"The ACT Government and ACT Policing are committed to preventing family violence in our community, with victim safety and offender accountability remaining a core focus of our response," Ms Burch said.