Unit gives Christmas cheer to kids in care

Michael TraillAlbany Advertiser

Domestic violence often spikes at Christmas, leaving many children in care over the festive season.

Great Southern Family Protection Unit Senior Constable Brett Jeffery wants to make sure vulnerable children do not miss out on festive cheer.

“Operation Blue Santa is all about police going and giving kids presents who are in domestic violence refuges over Christmas,” he said.

The program has run in Perth for the past five years and this year will be the first time children in domestic violence refuges in the Great Southern will receive presents from police in regional WA.

Operation Blue Santa will also be run by police in Geraldton this year for the first time.

“We’ve got a number of refuges across the Great Southern, we’ve got kids in there who have been removed from their homes pretty quickly, Christmas presents are the last things they think of,” Sen. Const. Jeffery said.

“Our aim is to buy one decent present for each kid, rather than having lots of little stocking-fillers.”

Domestic violence refuges act as emergency accommodation for children from birth to age 17 whose home life has become unliveable or has been severely disrupted.

“These kids are taken out of a domestic violence situation normally at short notice, virtually snatched, and we hide them away for their safety,” Sen. Const. Jeffery said.

“Sometimes they go there without clothing, without anything.

“From there we move them into another location or try and get them into transitional housing.”

Donation boxes for Operation Blue Santa can be found at most police stations in the Great Southern.

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