Calgary Police Service – Domestic Conflict Policy

8.13 Domestic Conflict – Statement of Principle

  1. It is the responsibility of the Service to respond to and investigate all reported incidents of domestic conflict. This response will stress enforcement of the laws to protect the victim and will communicate to our community that violent behaviour in the home is criminal behaviour, which will not be tolerated. Our goal is to reduce incidents of domestic conflict by providing an effective and sensitive response to the needs of the victims of domestic conflict.

8.14 Domestic Conflict – Definitions

  1. The term “Domestic Conflict”, for reporting purposes will include all incidents which police respond to that:
    • Are incidents of the home/family;
    • Have the elements of a crime/abuse (alleged or real);
    • May involve allegations of/or breaches of Peace Bonds, Restraining Orders, or other Court Orders; and
    • Are incidents of parental/familial abductions.

Culprit to Victim Relationships constituting Domestic Conflicts:

  • Boyfriend or Girlfriend (Not Cohabiting)
  • Brother or Sister (Natural, Step or Adopted)
  • Cohabiting partner (Same or Opposite Sex)
  • Common Law husband or wife
  • Ex-boyfriend or girlfriend (Never Cohabited)
  • Ex-cohabiting partner (Same or Opposite Sex)
  • Ex-common-law husband or wife
  • Ex-husband or wife
  • Father or Mother (Natural, Step or Adopted)
  • Foster parent (Guardian)
  • Foster son or daughter (Guardian)
  • Foster brother or sister
  • Grandmother or Grandfather
  • Husband or Wife
  • Son or Daughter
  • Uncle or Aunt
  • Extended family (ie. Nephew/niece, father/mother-in-law, great grandfather)

This expanded list of types of relationships will allow the CPS to identify all different types of domestic conflict and abuse. We will be better able to provide service to the victims and aggressors involved in these types situations.

8.14 Domestic Conflict – Authority

  1. When responding to a complaint involving domestic conflict, the investigating police officer will:
    • conduct a thorough investigation;
    • lay the appropriate charge(s) where there are reasonable grounds to believe a criminal offence has taken place.

A police officer’s decision to lay charges will not be dependent upon the victim’s wishes.

8.14 Domestic Conflict – Restrictions

  1. Under no circumstances will a police officer allow the aggressor in a domestic conflict complaint to act as interpreter for the victim.
  2. When an interpreter is needed in a domestic conflict investigation police officers will contact the Duty Inspector to arrange for the interpreter.
  3. In emergency circumstances, police officers may request an AT&T interpreter through the Communications Section. These AT&T interpreters are not available for any court proceedings.

8.14 Domestic Conflict – Police Officers

  1. A police officer investigating a complaint of domestic conflict will:
    • treat the incident as a serious complaint;
    • ensure the safety of all persons;
    • interview the victim and alleged abuser separately, clearly indicate that it is the police officer’s decision whether charges will be pursued or not;
    • when applicable, arrange for transportation of the victim and dependents to a shelter, friend’s home, medical facility or other services as required;
    • make referrals to the Calgary Police Service Victim Assistance Unit (VAU), Crisis Unit or other agencies as required;
    • provide the victim with an Action Committee Against Violence (ACAV) Referral Card and ensure a Witness Statement is completed;
    • provide the complainant with the case number.
  2. When during the course of the investigation, an attending police officer determines the complaint does not relate to a domestic conflict the police officer must obtain permission from the District Sergeant to reclassify the 10-11 CAD complaint.
  3. When during the course of an investigation (eg. 10-43 hang up) an attending police officer determines the complaint is a domestic conflict related incident, the domestic conflict procedure will be followed and the original CAD code will be changed to 10-11.

8.14 Domestic Conflict – Reporting

  1. Police officers will:
    • submit an Occurrence Report in all cases of domestic conflict related incidents investigated, regardless of whether charges are laid or not;
    • ensure the Occurrence Report contains:
      1. Observed behaviour;
      2. Description of physical injuries sustained, if any;
      3. Damage to property incurred;
      4. Presence, age, gender and number of children;
      5. Accessibility of weapons to the aggressor;
      6. Use of drugs or alcohol;
      7. Relationship between parties in conflict;
      8. Referral information provided to all parties in conflict;
      9. A signed witness statement from victim; and
      10. Where a signed witness statement could not be obtained, the reasons why.
    • in circumstances where a charge is being laid, endeavour to obtain medical reports and photographs of injuries when injury is evident.
    • for reporting purposes, be asked to record the most prevalent/serious “type of abuse” for each victim;
    TYPES of ABUSE Examples of Behaviours
    SEXUAL Sexual assault, Sexual Interference, Exploitation
    PHYSICAL Assault, (w or w/o weapon), Homicide, Abduction
    THREATS Harassment, intimidation, stalking, uttering threats, telephone threats.
    VERBAL ALTERCATION Verbal, shouting, no threats made.
    EMOTIONAL Isolation/silence, neglect, mental suffering, threats of abandonment, infantilization (treating as childlike), humiliation.
    FINANCIAL/PROPERTY Fraud, theft, damage to property controlled individually or jointly, mischief.
    OTHER Disobey Court Order, breach Order.
    NO ABUSE For use on information reports only.
  2. When the investigating police officer is of the opinion that reasonable grounds do not exist to support a charge, the police officer will include in the Occurrence Report the details of allegations made and the reasons why a charge was not laid.
  3. When a police officer is not satisfied reasonable grounds exist to support a charge, but the complainant insists upon a charge being laid, the police officer will:
    • Ensure that the supervisor immediately reviews the complaint;
    • When the supervisor agrees with the police officer, refer the complainant to an independent legal counsel;
    • Submit an Occurrence Report detailing the complaint; and
    • Provide the complainant with the case number.
  4. DOMESTIC INFORMATION REPORT: is a non-offence report and will be completed for incidents when there is no real or alleged criminal act. (ie: verbal altercation, information for complainant to obtain court order or peace bond.) This information report will not be used in lieu of an offence report where no charges are being laid by reason of Insufficient Evidence or Departmental Discretion. Therefore, no person named in an information report should have the role of Victim or Accused. A new role of “Domestic Subject” has been added for use in these reports. Each Domestic Information report MUST have at least one “Domestic Subject”.
  5. DOMESTIC STAND-BY REPORT: is a non-offence report and will be submitted upon completion of a domestic standby. The report will be completed based on information received during the call for a stand-by. The persons associated to these reports all have the role of “Domestic Subject” (no victim. accused or suspect should be recorded).