The police should pair up with social workers to attend scenes of potential domestic violence, a social services group proposed yesterday. Welfare groups said there had been 187 cases of death or injury resulting from domestic violence since the Tin Shui Wai tragedy last year, with twice as many female victims as male. Margaret Wong Fung-yee, executive director of Harmony House, a group promoting zero tolerance for family violence, said her suggestion was more realistic and effective than merely asking police officers to be more sensitive towards domestic violence - as recommended in the verdict of the inquest. 'It is true that there remains much room for improvement on the parts of both the police and social workers. But we are not here to blame anybody,' Ms Wong said. 'We cannot expect police officers to be as knowledgeable as social workers in the identification and intervention of domestic-violence cases.' Under existing practice, officers called to the scene of potential family violence decide whether social workers should be sent to intervene. Ms Wong said the police might find it difficult to detect evidence of previous spousal abuse because of the absence of physical injuries or the use of only oral threats by the abuser. She urged the government to try the pair-up concept by launching a pilot scheme in a housing estate in a district such as Tuen Mun, Yuen Long or Tin Shui Wai. While admitting that her proposal 'will have resource implications', treatment in a public hospital for a victim of domestic violence could be far more costly. An independent three-member panel's review on the Tin Shui Wai tragedy had highlighted late last year the lack of co-ordination between government and social services groups. Resources and manpower could not be deployed flexibly to cope with a sudden need in individual districts, the panel's findings also showed. Sze Lai-shan, community organiser at the Society for Community Organisation, said the problem of police prejudice and discrimination against newly arrived mainland women remained serious. 'The officers often look at them as the source of trouble. They believe that these women come to Hong Kong to have a better life and more money, and therefore they should not complain that much when their husbands do not treat them as nicely as they would like them to,' she said.