Hundreds of would-be killers are being targeted by specialist police in a domestic violence blitz, and the number of high-risk offenders is staggering.
Hundreds of would-be killers are being targeted by specialist police in a domestic violence blitz, and the number of high-risk offenders is staggering.

Shocking number of would-be killers on cops’ watch list

Hundreds of would-be partner killers are being targeted by specialist police in Logan.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Logan's DV-busting police team - the Domestic Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit - has 190 high-risk DV offenders on their watch list, according to the latest figures.

It is understood some of the flagged offenders already have several protection orders out against them from different women and others may have the potential to become partner-killers like Hannah Clarke's estranged husband Rowan Baxter or Bandido bikie Lionel Patea - who is serving two life sentences, including one for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Tara Brown.

Bandido bikie Lionel Patea is serving two life sentences, including one for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Tara Brown. Photo: Instagram
Bandido bikie Lionel Patea is serving two life sentences, including one for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Tara Brown. Photo: Instagram

Head of unit, Detective Inspector Mark White, told The Courier-Mail high-risk respondents make it onto the watch-list for number of reasons that are not "proscriptive" or always related to a specific incident.

It is understood escalating violence, gang associations, breaches of protection orders and criminal history are all taken into account when flagging the dangerous offenders.

"High-risk can be anything from threats to actual harm," Det Insp White told The Courier-Mail.

Hannah Clarke and her children Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey (pictured) were murdered by Ms Clarke’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter, who set their car alight in Camp Hill.
Hannah Clarke and her children Aaliyah, Laianah and Trey (pictured) were murdered by Ms Clarke’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter, who set their car alight in Camp Hill.

"We look at it from a broad perspective and it's about the disruption and the prevention of these crimes.

"If we had an offender who was showing signs of escalated violence and risk, then we look at ways to prevent that."

Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Fletcher (left) and Detective Inspector Mark White. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT.
Detective Senior Sergeant Paul Fletcher (left) and Detective Inspector Mark White. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT.

He said flagged respondents do not always have to commit offences in a family setting to be considered high-risk DV offenders.

"It might be they might be at a nightclub and they have got into a fight to hit someone with a glass," Det Insp White said.

Tara Brown was killed by her Bandido bikie ex-boyfriend Lionel Patea. Photo: Instagram.
Tara Brown was killed by her Bandido bikie ex-boyfriend Lionel Patea. Photo: Instagram.

He said the unit, which began in January 2020, was using cutting-edge strategies to break down the scourge of domestic violence south of Brisbane, including encouraging offenders to engage in programs designed to "assist them to deal with some of the causes behind their behaviour".

But Det Insp White said the main priority of the unit was helping victims and "preventing a homicide".

Rowan Baxter who killed his entire family in a horrific DV murder before committing suicide at Camp Hill. Picture: supplied.
Rowan Baxter who killed his entire family in a horrific DV murder before committing suicide at Camp Hill. Picture: supplied.

"We've seen what's occurred in the past and we have to take an approach that if there are acts of serious violence, we have to act as that may lead to something more severe," he said.

Since January, police at the unit have charged 118 offenders with 810 offences including strangulation, stalking, threatening violence, serious assault, attempted arson and unlawful wounding.

Domestic Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit at Logan. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT.
Domestic Family Violence and Vulnerable Persons Unit at Logan. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT.

They have made 83 referrals to support services and programs and conducted additional visits to high-risk homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.

Originally published as Shocking number of would-be killers on cops' DV watch list


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