23 November 2018
Today’s announcement that the Custody Notification Service (CNS) is a step closer to implementation in Western Australia has been welcomed by the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA).
The CNS will provide a much needed 24 hour welfare and legal advice phone line for Aboriginal people taken into police custody.
“We have been lobbying for the introduction of a CNS in Western Australia for many years, and it will be a life-saving service for our people. It is an absolute tragedy that so many have died in circumstances which could have been avoided” said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.
The establishment of a CNS was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) 27 years ago.
“It is tragically ironic that the RCIADIC report recommendations came out 8 months before Ms. Dhu was even born, in that same year of 1991” said Mr. Eggington.
ALSWA, who will be the CNS service provider, has been in negotiations with the McGowan government about the logistics and requirements of setting up the service.
“407 of our people have died in custody nationally since 1991 and this is unacceptable. The NSW CNS has shown that a CNS does save lives, and we know that it will also save lives in Western Australia.”