Over 600 people have been charged in relation to domestic violence in Australia after a four-day police operation

Police in Australia say that during a four-day crackdown on “dangerous” domestic violence offenders, nearly 650 people were arrested and charged. During the operation in New South Wales last week, 1,153 charges were filed, including those for drug possession, weapons possession, and domestic violence. Guns, a sword, and drugs were among the other contraband items the police found and confiscated. Authorities in Australia devote more man hours to domestic violence calls than to any other type of crime.

Police say that out of the 648 people arrested last week as part of “Operation Amarok,” 164 were high-priority domestic violence offenders wanted by authorities across the state.

Some had warrants out for their arrests, while others had breached court-issued protection orders – known as apprehended violence orders (AVO) – the NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb said. She explained that the motive behind the attacks was concern for the victims. This massive coordinated effort was necessary because “some of them have been hard to find… avoiding police.”

A man, 22, is among those charged after police say he choked his girlfriend to the point where she passed out during an argument. Another was a 51-year-old man who police have charged with stalking a woman and fitting a tracking device to her car. His gun permit is being reviewed after police found and confiscated legally owned firearms from his residence.

Two more robbery suspects were arrested after police recovered two daggers, a double-edged sword, and metal knuckledusters from another location. On Tuesday, NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Mal Lanyon stated that the department’s new strategy of focusing on high risk offenders is intended to prevent violence before it leads to homicide.

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According to 2016 national statistics, one in five Australians have experienced physical or sexual domestic violence by the age of 15. Women are disproportionately the targets of this kind of violence, which is typically committed by men. While the United Nations has called violence against women in Australia “disturbingly common,” experts have noted that this is not unusual among developed countries.

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