Today, Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the Regina Police Service, along with government and community partners, held a news conference to announce an improved response to domestic conflict in our community. Even the term “Domestic Conflict” is a change, since it refers to more than physical or visible forms of violence between persons in relationships.
A definition of “Domestic Conflict” indicates: “Domestic Conflict can occur between persons in different types of relationships and refers to the use of physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional force or power, threatened or actual, against family members, intimate partners, relatives or cohabitants, that results in harm.”* Different types of violence and abuse include physical, emotional, threats of harm, sexual, spiritual or cultural, stalking, financial, or neglect.
Since 2014, the Regina Police Service has responded to an increasing number of police-reported cases of Domestic Conflict. Today, in general terms, the RPS is responding to about a thousand more domestic- conflict-related calls for service per year, than it did five years ago. In 2012, police responded to about 14 such incidents a day. From 2015 into the first quarter of 2017, that rate has increased to about 17 Domestic Conflict responses a day.
As a result of research and consultation with our community, our partners, and organizations which help those impacted by Domestic Conflict, the Regina Police Service has engaged in a number of efforts to improve our service delivery for those affected by Domestic Conflict. These improvements include:
1) An updated Domestic Conflict policy;
2) Annual Domestic Conflict training (delivery – Jan. to May 2018) for front-line uniformed members, and Communication Centre staff. (Interim, roll-call training was delivered in October to front-line staff to bridge the months from now until January, 2018.);
3) Recognition that the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Calls to Action encourage improvement in the areas of cultural competency training and anti-racism training. Although such training occurs now, it can be enhanced.
4) The TRC Calls to Action also identify the need for Aboriginal-specific victim-support programs with appropriate evaluation mechanisms. The Regina Police Service has two Aboriginal Resource Officers in the Victim Service Unit;
5) Improved supervisory oversight and enhanced officer coaching and mentoring;
6) More accommodating environments for victims to report Domestic Conflict;
7) Connecting victims with community-based supports sooner;
8) Creation of new web-based resources, reginapolice.ca/domestic-conflict/
9) Internal communications from the Chief, Executive and Senior Management to all Regina Police Service Employees about the changes in policy, training and resources available.
With this enhanced approach to Domestic Conflict, the Regina Police Service commits to continual improvement in our service to the community. The Regina Police Service Vision is: “Working together to keep Regina safe”. We will continue to work with our partners: to prevent Domestic Conflict; to educate those most at-risk or currently affected by Domestic Conflict on reporting and accessing help; and to hold offenders accountable in ways that offer the greatest chance of successful re-integration into community life.