A pilot project to find the most appropriate way to meet the needs of victims of intimate partner violence will become permanent.
Three Manitoba Justice Victim Services staff will remain located at Winnipeg Police Service headquarters to work with officers on addressing domestic incidents of a non-criminal nature, Justice Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced Thursday.
Established in 2021 amid an uptick in calls of domestic violence, WPS partnered with Manitoba Justice to house staff at police headquarters to confront calls in the most appropriate way.
The location of the staff at police headquarters led to better support for victims, the minister said.
“The results of this pilot project indicate that this approach has succeeded in delivering a more effective, efficient intervention through timely, integrated service to Manitoba families in need,” Goertzen said in a statement.
According to a government release, police respond to 12,000 calls for service involving domestic violence or disputes on an annual basis.
In the past, officers were deployed to domestic calls then referred the case to victim services after, causing delays.
With the pilot project, the victims services team responded to all non-criminal incidents in conjunction with officers, while providing resources at the same time.
WPS Insp. Eric Luke said in a statement the pilot allowed victims to receive better care sooner.
“The WPS is committed to this collaboration with Victim Services, which allows for early intervention to help prevent escalation and potentially volatile situations,” he said.
One of the three staff headquartered downtown, who is connected to the Family Resolution Service in downtown Winnipeg, will stay in the position.
FRS operates in a multi-disciplinary approach to assist and support families navigating family law. The approach proved effective in providing services to victims, the statement said.
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