The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA Limited (ALSWA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the State Government that Western Australia will receive Federal funding to establish a statewide 24 hour hotline, requiring police to call the ALSWA whenever an Aboriginal person is brought into a lock-up.
“This is wonderful news that follows on from negotiations between ALSWA and the State Government and our submission to the Commonwealth to fund a custody notification service (CNS) in WA” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.
ALSWA has advocated for a CNS for many years and the establishment of a CNS was also a key recommendation by the Coroner following the tragic death of Ms. Dhu, who was imprisoned for unpaid fines.
“This Service will save lives. Our specially trained lawyers and support staff will be able to provide critically important information to police about custodial care issues to minimize the risks of suicide and self-harm in police custody, as well as establish referral pathways for clients needing help with issues which have brought them into contact with police”, Mr Eggington said.