Cops can’t predict what DV maniacs will do next
Police could not have predicted a man would allegedly set fire to his partner's home hours after his release from custody, Queensland's police chief said as she commended her troops for their thorough actions.
Commissioner Katarina Carroll has vouched for her officers, saying they acted in accordance with legislation when Curtis Shea Mickan was released from police custody without charge a few hours after an alleged "high-level" disturbance with his wife at their Wooloowin home at the weekend.
Mickan would hours later return to the address where police allege he set the house alight with his wife and her mother inside.
Police later charged him with their attempted murders, arson and further charges relating to the evening prior.
Commissioner Carroll on Tuesday said Mickan's actions after release could not have been foreseen, as she clarified he was not initially charged at the request of the victim.
"The events that followed his release were not foreseeable - and I make that comment - they were not foreseeable," Commissioner Carroll, who personally reviewed police body worn footage from the event, said.
"I saw how empathetic (police) were, I saw the amount of time they spent with the victim, I saw how they put a very good safety plan in place for the victim's family."
She confirmed Mickan had been taken into custody and stayed inside the watch house for some time, before being released under "very strict conditions" not to return to the home.
Beyond DV founder Carolyn Robinson said generally, it could be impossible to know how someone released from custody would act.
She said she was always concerned for a woman's safety if she remained in her home when a condition had been put on the man, effectively banning him from returning to the house.
"The hardest thing is not really knowing what a person is going to do and what that person's behaviour is going to be if a protection order is put on them," she said.
She said more thought should be given to the safety of the woman who remains in her home when an ouster condition has been put on the man, effectively banning him from returning to the house.
"He knows exactly where she is and after his release, may be further enraged by being ordered not to attend the home," Ms Robinson said.
"Obviously the person who has been the victim is put in extra danger there."
Stretched police are faced with a DV related complaint every five minutes, totalling about 107,000 calls this year alone.
Commissioner Carroll thanked her troops for the work they do to police DV related incidents, which she said were often made harder by extreme emotion.
"There's anger, there's passion, there's hostility … so they're very, very difficult situations to be in," she said.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said all officers involved in the Wooloowin matter "did everything by the book".
"It is simply nonsense for the armchair critics of hardworking police to say we should be locking people up (without charge) and holding them in custody (without charge) and putting them before a magistrate," he said.
"It makes no sense at all and the next ridiculous thing we will see from the armchair critics of police will be them calling for all police to be issued with Tarot cards and crystal balls immediately so police can identify a would-be potential homicidal arsonist domestic violence-causing individual just by looking at them and before they even allegedly commit an offence."
He said the QPU continued to push for the offence of 'commit domestic violence' to be added into legislation which he said would lead to charges for those accused of DV.
Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said she had met with QPU representatives and promised to consider their suggestions.
"The (Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce) will be providing a report on the specific offence of commit domestic violence in October," she said.
"That's why I have ensured the review for the need for a specific offence of commit domestic violence is a key part of the terms of reference for Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce.
"Respect for women and girls is paramount in ending violence perpetrated against them, and respect needs to start in our communities - because every Queenslander has a role to play in ending domestic and family violence."
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the government would take advice from police about whether DV laws needed to be changed.
"If police need us to tighten laws, or provide them with additional powers then we are always happy to listen to them," he said.
Opposition Leader David Crisafulli backed the QPUs calls for DV to be treated as an offence, as he called for the government to act on the scourge of DV prior to next year's McMurdo review.
"The government can't say that there's nothing else that can be done in the meantime," he said.
"I don't want to see more families put through heartbreak while we do another review.
"The review can deliver some great things but there are some things that can happen now."
Originally published as 'Tarot cards and crystal balls': Cops can't predict what DV maniacs will do next