Regina police are taking a new, improved approach to domestic conflict.
Police Chief Evan Bray announced a new policy, admitting it’s a problem in the Queen City, saying statistics put the city among the highest in Canada for domestic violence. Domestic conflict is more of an all encompassing term to include not only domestic violence, but also things like emotional, financial, spiritual or cultural abuse, along with things like stalking
Improvements within the policy include more thorough and consistent training for frontline police and communication centre staff. The policy also includes what police call more accommodating environments for victims to report in.
“If someone has trust in a system or an organization, they’re more willing to talk to them. If they don’t have trust, they’re not going to talk. We need to start by getting people in the doors to report,” said Bray.
In the past, Bray said victims would need to report their situation, sometimes containing personal or sensitive details, right next to someone who’s in the police station reporting something like a noisy neighbour.
Ward 1 councillor Barbara Young said she’s thrilled with the policy, as it’s an area that the community needs to shine a light on.
She shared that she has been personally impacted by domestic conflict in a relationship from the past, indicating that affected her emotionally.
“It doesn’t show, but it actually causes you to question who you are and whether you’re worthwhile,” she revealed.
Bray said police respond to 17 domestic conflict-related calls each day, an increase from five years ago when officers responded to around 14 incidents a day. In 2017, police are responding to about one-thousand more domestic-conflict-related calls annually than they did five years ago.
“It’s a big jump even in the last five years and so it’s something that we can no longer turn a blind eye to, we no longer can just put a band-aid on it and walk away and think that’s enough. We have to dig into this issue.”
In addition, police have updated their website to include new resources for those looking for more information.