||The Saanich Police Department participates in a Regional Domestic Violence Unit that takes a multidisciplinary approach to high-risk domestic violence situations across the Capital Regional District. The unit has been in place since 2009. It consists of officers from local police departments in the region, victim service workers and representatives of the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development. Team members work together to ensure that a full range of services are provided to victims of domestic violence. Services include follow-up investigation, risk assessment, offender management, safety planning for victims and children, and intensive victim support.
||The Regional Domestic Violence Unit has several objectives:
- provide a cross-jurisdictional response to domestic violence that is uniform in approach across the Capital Regional District;
- ensure the safety of victims;
- ensure that complete and thorough investigations are conducted, appropriate charges are laid and files are followed through to the end of the process; and
- allow for better communication and coordination among the different parties, so that each case is handled more effectively.
||This unit is significantly more effective at handling issues of domestic violence than a local police unit acting independently. The processes now in place within the Regional Domestic Violence Unit ensure that domestic violence cases are dealt with more consistently, quickly and appropriately. An external review found that the initiative was achieving its goals and was offering good value for money for Saanich. A full evaluation of this initiative is planned.
||The Saanich Police Department contributes office space, technical support and two vehicles for the unit. The vehicles cost $25,000 each, with an annual cost of about $4,000 for insurance, fuel and maintenance. Individual police services contribute officer time. The Saanich Police Department and RCMP West Shore Detachment each contribute one investigator, and the Victoria Police Department provides one supervisor. Participating police services contribute $67,000 annually to the operation of the unit or equivalent resources. This money funds costs such as a civilian support member, investigative expenses, minimal overtime, a vehicle replacement reserve and various administrative supplies.
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