Top cop: ‘I don’t know what more Doreen could’ve have done’

 

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski will lead a review into the police response to Doreen Langham's repeated calls for help before her death, admitting "I don't know what more Doreen could have done".

Mr Gollschewski said Commissioner Katarina Carroll had committed heavily to trying to reform the domestic and family violence police responses in Queensland.

"She has immediately requested that I lead a review of the entire circumstances around this," he said.

"Even though there is a coronial investigation it is absolutely imperative for us as an organisation to give confidence to the community that the systems we have in place will protect them when they need to be protected.

Doreen Langham.
Doreen Langham.

 

"It's going to consider the entire history with the police interaction with this.

"Of course there is a focus on the call that was made on Sunday night (by Ms Langham) and what happened that night.

"And I can say, I can say with certainty, that I am confident that the response on that night was as it should have been based on the information that was available at the time.

"But the question we have of course is what other information was available and what other information was in our system and indeed in any other systems across the nation that may have assisted us to make other decisions on that night.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has admitted police must improve how the respond to incidents of domestic violence. Picture: Attila Csaszar
Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski has admitted police must improve how the respond to incidents of domestic violence. Picture: Attila Csaszar

 

Mr Gollschewski said he did not know how many times Ms Langham called police.

He said police were trying to establish a timeline from when either of the pair first came to notice of the police around the country.

"Out of those 105,000 occurrences every year, the vast majority people get an outcome that they need," he said.

"It's unacceptable that even one slips through the cracks, such as Doreen, unacceptable, so we need to improve."

When asked what more Ms Langham could have done - who called police multiple times and changed her locks - Mr Gollschewski said "this is one of those things that guts us as well".

"I know the Commissioner is extremely upset about this because she has committed so heavily to domestic and family violence and wanting to make a difference," he said.

"The one thing that goes wrong really, really gets to us, it's distressing.

"I don't know what more Doreen could have done. I don't know.

"And I hope that when we get through this investigation if we find something that could have been done different - for victims as well that there is better ways for them to do things - that we can identity that as well.

"She is the victim in this and her family is the victim in this.

"It's very, very important that we really uncover what happened here."

 

Police search the ruins of the fire-ravaged Browns Plains townhouse where two bodies where found. Picture: Brad Fleet
Police search the ruins of the fire-ravaged Browns Plains townhouse where two bodies where found. Picture: Brad Fleet

 

Mr Gollschewski said it was important police established a timeline from when Ms Langham spoke with police and how it was dealt with from then.

He said there were more than 105,000 domestic violence incidents police had dealt with in the last year.

"And despite Not Now, Not Ever (a report into family and domestic violence) and despite what we've learnt and seen in other instances such as Tara Brown and Hannah Clarke and her children, here we are again where a person who is a victim of violence needed to be protected and we have not been able to protect her," Mr Gollschewski said.

"We are not satisfied with that and will be relentless in trying to find out what has happened and make sure this type of thing does not happen."

Mr Gollschewski said people should still feel confident in calling police for help.

He said the Logan district had more than 3500 domestic violence incidents this year.

It was the busiest police district in Queensland and "probably" had the most DV incidents in the state.

"By and large almost exclusively they deal with them very well," he said.

 

Originally published as Top cop: 'I don't know what more Doreen could've have done'


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