The vision of the Ontario Provincial Police, "Safe Communities - A Secure Ontario" is reflected in the organization's response to occurrences of abuse within the province.
The OPP has recognized the need for a specialized response to incidents of abuse and has designated a Provincial Abuse Issues Coordinator, and also six Regional Abuse Issues Coordinators - one in each of the six regions of the Ontario Provincial Police.
These officers receive specialized training in the areas of domestic/family violence, child abuse, missing children, sexual assaults and crimes against seniors.
The Crime Prevention Section, Provincial Coordinator works with the OPP Operational Policy and Strategic Planning Bureau to develop and update policies with regard to police response to abuse issues. The Provincial Coordinator provides input and direction on the OPP response to jury recommendations, new legislation affecting police response, and the Adequacy and Effectiveness Standards.
Additionally, a goal of the Abuse Issues position is to ensure coordination with other government agencies; police services, Ministries, community groups and committees, while working in partnership toward the development of a consistent and seamless response to victims province-wide. The Provincial Coordinator provides education, referral to resources, and presentations on the topics of abuse issues for police personnel, victim services, community groups, and Ontario schools.
Our goal is to reduce victimizaton through developing programs and educating both officers and the community on abuse issues.
Regional Abuse Issues Coordinators
Regional Abuse Issues Coordinators assist the front-line officers in their Regions with abuse occurrences and ensure the response to such crimes reflects the OPP provincial direction.
Regional Abuse Issues Investigators
In a portion of the province, Regions have assigned Abuse Issues Investigators to assist the Regional Coordinator, both with investigative assistance to field personnel, and coordination and partnership with community groups and victim services in their area of responsibility. These coordinators and investigators also provide community education, referral to resources, and police training on the various aspects of abuse issues.
The O.P.P.'s commitment
The General Social Survey (1999), estimates that half a million Canadian children witnessed violence in their homes between 1994 and 1999. A significant issue regarding the long-term effects of children witnessing violence is the proliferation of abusive behaviour in subsequent generations. Exposure to spousal violence is being recognized as harmful and as putting children at risk for long-term negative effects. The OPP, is committed to identifying and developing proactive programs aimed at abuse prevention. The O.A.C.P. defines Crime Prevention as "the anticipation, recognition and appraisal of a crime risk and the action taken to remove or reduce it". The Crime Prevention Section Abuse Issues Unit will continue to work toward the goal of reducing victimization throughout the province.
For more info contact the Crime Prevention Team or (705) 329-7680