Sergeant Allyson Sanewski and Senior Sergeant Dave Tierney with some of the mobile phones that have been collected as part of the program

June 4, 2021

Local police are keen to get your old mobile phones … and they may just save a life.

Old mobile phones which are still working can be dropped in to local police stations and will be forwarded to the DV Safe Phone project where they are checked and then given to victims of domestic violence via support agencies.

South Burnett Domestic and Family Violence co-ordinator Sergeant Allyson Sanewksi is promoting the program in the local area.

Collection boxes for old phones have been set up at the Kingaroy, Kumbia, Murgon and Cherbourg police stations – but old phones can be dropped off to any police station in the region.

Sgt Sanewksi said people should wipe the phones of all data and log-ins, and remove the SIM cards, before they drop them off.

However, police may be able to help with wiping the phones if people don’t know how to do it themselves.

Information about how to prepare phones for donation is also available on the DV Safe Phone website

Donations of phone chargers and cables would also be gratefully received.

Sgt Sanewski said 20 phones repurposed by the DV Safe Phone project have already been given to counselling services for distribution in the local area, including South Burnett CTC and Centacare.

Police are also repurposing and cleaning phones seized from drug offenders to assist with the project.

Officer-in-charge of Kingaroy Police, Senior Sergeant Dave Tierney, said having their own mobile phone could give domestic violence victims a lifeline.

It could replace a phone smashed by a domestic violence offender.

“Often they can’t buy a second phone to replace a smashed phone because of controlling behaviour,” Snr Sgt Tierney said.

A second phone could also be part of a safety plan for DV victims in an emergency.

“The perpetrator can’t put a tracking app on a second phone if they don’t know about it,” he said.

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