The following quotes are attributed to NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller following his appearance on 60 Minutes this evening in relation to the death of Jack, Jennifer and John Edwards.
The systems, processes and people let Jack, Jennifer and Olga Edwards down, for that I am sorry. We have to take responsibility for their deaths.
John Edwards should have never got access to firearms. As the NSW Police Commissioner, I need to make sure that can’t happen again.
We see some 150,000 victims every year come forward to report family and domestic violence. Half of all homicides in NSW are domestic and family violence related. We have more police and more training than we have ever had in this space.
Whilst we have made significant changes to the systems and processes, 15 recommendations made primarily for the NSW Police Force have been rectified.
The below statement was issued on Wednesday 7 April 2021 addressing the State Coroners findings.
The NSW Police Force notes the findings delivered today by the State Coroner in relation to the deaths of Jack and Jennifer Edwards and their father in July 2018.
The NSW Police Force will review the findings and consider all recommendations that are directed to police.
Following the deaths of the Edwards children, Commissioner Fuller publicly committed to undertaking a review of the NSW Firearms Registry.
Since 2018, the NSW Firearms Registry has undergone an extensive restructure which has resulted in enhanced compliance and better identification of breaches of the legislation. Continued improvements and further reforms are scheduled throughout 2021.
Significant changes to the Firearms Registry processes and systems have led to greater scrutiny and assessment of licence application and renewals, which are now oversighted by senior adjudicators.
Every day, the NSW Firearms Registry undertakes numerous rigorous assessment procedures in relation to the currency, status and issuing of all firearm licences and permits in this state.
These assessments enable the Firearms Registry to determine changes to a person’s suitability to hold a licence, which can be suspended or revoked on a number of grounds, including involvement in a domestic violence-related incident, mental health-related events, involvement in criminal activity, association with criminal groups, and/or in the public interest.
The NSW Firearms Registry is dedicated to ensuring that every firearms licence holder is a fit and proper person.
Last year (between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2020), the Firearms Registry assessed more than 40,072 licences at renewal and almost another 17,923 on initial application.
In that time, the Firearms Registry’s new assessment processes led to the suspension of 1,596 licences and the revocation of 1,636 licences.
Over the past two years, the NSW Police Force has implemented significant changes to systems and procedures in relation to the reporting and supervision of domestic and family violence incidents. The NSW Police Force continues to identify ways to improve responses to firearms and domestic violence offences.
The NSW Police Force continues to improve its capability to keep people safe. The regulation of firearms and the welfare of our communities remains a critical issue for the NSW Police Force.