have substantively increased staffing of their Partner Assault Section following extensive consultation with the community.
The Round Table Against Violence Against Women applauds the recent assignment of five new police officers to expand the Partner Assault Section responsible
for combating domestic abuse. The Round Table recently participated
in a police-community working group that was brought together to identify
issues in order to more effectively handle partner assault cases.
"Every person has the right to feel safe, particularly in their own
home. Domestic violence is a devastating crime that is an important
priority with our community. It is the most reported crime and one
of the most destructive to women and children. The police must have
the resources necessary to effectively attack this crime. It was
clear from this working group that more was definitely needed," said Regional
Councillor Wendy Byrne, Chair of the Round Table Against Violence Against
The working group was made up of police from different service divisions;
the Crown Attorney's Office, Probation Services, Social Services, the Round
Table, Children's Aid Society, and various partner abuse service agencies
and community members, including a respresentative of the
Ottawa-Carleton Police Liaison Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Communities. The working group focused on seeking overall
improvement of police service in the area of partner assault. The
primary recommendation of the working group was to increase staffing in
the police's Partner Assault Unit.
Vince Bevan, the new Chief of Police, supported the expansion of the
unit based on needs identified by the community working in partnership
with Ottawa-Carleton Regional Police Services.
The working group also identified Thursday to Sunday as being the peak
days for partner assault in Ottawa-Carleton. As a result, Partner
Assault Police Investigators will now be available 24 hours a day from
Thursday to Sunday and for 20 hours a day Monday to Wednesday. "We
are pleased to see this improvement in service," said Councillor Byrne.
The unit investigates same-sex as well as opposite-sex incidents.
At the request of the Police Liaison Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual
and Transgender Communities, the new officers received an introduction
to lesbian and gay partner abuse issues. Personnel will provide an
opportunity for more substantial training, plus training on transgender
issues, later this year.
Earlier this year the Ottawa-Carleton Police Service
changed the name of the Spousal Assault Section to Partner Assault to
reflect the diversity of the community.