Calgary Police Service seeing rise in domestic conflicts
As the third week of Family Violence Prevention Month comes to a close, the Calgary Police Service is releasing its most current statistics on domestic conflict in our city.
Police have seen a slight increase in the total number of domestic conflict calls this year compared to the same time last year. The trend shows that domestic conflict is a very real issue in Calgary and it impacts families in all areas of the city.
Typically, the Calgary Police Service responds to between 17,000 and 18,000 domestic conflict calls each year, with around 12,700 of those occurring by the end of September. However, by the end of September in 2015, police had responded to 15,252 domestic conflict calls. This is a 16 per cent increase over the same time last year.
The vast majority, approximately 12,280 (81 per cent), of these calls are verbal altercations that escalated to the point that police were called, or situations where one party has asked police to be present while they moved out of their home due to domestic conflict.
Approximately 2,863 (19 per cent) of this year’s domestic conflict calls involved some form of physical domestic violence against a person or damage/theft of a person’s property. This is 242 more incidents than police had seen at the same time last year, which is a 9 per cent increase.
“Domestic violence is a serious issue and we never like to see any increase in these types of cases,” says Staff Sergeant Rob Davidson, with the Calgary Police Service Domestic Conflict Unit. “We work very hard as a police service to prevent domestic conflicts from escalating to violence, but because this is often such a private problem we really cannot solve it without the community getting involved and families in crisis reaching out for help.”
The Calgary Police Service has 34 police officers and four civilian staff working in the Domestic Conflict Unit. The team works closely with partner agencies to intervene in families experiencing frequent domestic conflict, investigate cases of domestic violence, prevent further domestic violence from habitual offenders, and intervene in situations of elder abuse.
Officers in this unit, alongside partner agencies, work directly with approximately 2,400 families each year.
The Calgary Police Service always encourages anyone that is experiencing abuse or violence in an intimate relationship to reach out for help. There are countless agencies ready to offer support that can be contacted simply by calling Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network at 403 -237-5888 (Toll Free: 1-877-237-5888), the 24-hour Family Violence Helpline at 403-234-SAFE (7233), or 211.
Victims of domestic violence can also contact the Calgary Police Service anytime by calling the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234, or 911 if they are in immediate danger.