Domestic Offender Crimes Section (Synopsis)

Edmonton Police Service

Description: To better address domestic violence and prevent intimate partner violence, the Edmonton Police Service converted its existing Spousal Violence Intervention Team into a Domestic Offender Crimes Section (DOCS) in September 2010. DOCS is made up of the Domestic Offender Crimes Investigative Team, Domestic Violence Intervention Teams and the Docket Court Team.

The Domestic Offender Crimes Investigative Team consists of six detectives responsible for files involving domestic crimes of an extremely violent or complex nature. The detectives are specially trained to address intimate partner violence. Domestic Violence Intervention Teams are made up of a constable and a City of Edmonton social worker. These teams perform risk assessments of individual cases, make appropriate interventions and work with other agencies to coordinate plans for family reconciliation and safety. The Docket Court Team, also made up of a constable and a City of Edmonton social worker, conducts interviews with those involved in a case, makes recommendations to the Crown and liaises with outside agencies and the other members of the DOCS team.
Objective: The Domestic Offender Crimes Section aims to prevent domestic violence offences within the city of Edmonton through victim-based intervention, strict judicial conditions, incarceration, offender management, sentencing and advocacy strategies and offender-based harm reduction strategies.
Outcomes: The six DOCS detectives handle about 100 files per year, with a 92% conviction rate. The new DOCS model has resulted in performance improvements in the investigation of serious and complex cases, the debriefing of investigations and the assessment of outcomes for potential risk reduction. DOCS detectives have assisted patrol officers with complex investigations and participated in a number of successful criminal investigations that have resulted in positive feedback from the Crown Prosecutor’s office. Through cross-training between social workers and the DOCS team, there is better understanding between police and social services regarding the work of each service on domestic violence. An evaluation of this initiative is not planned at this time.
Resources: Overtime and human resource capacity are the two most significant resources needed to operate the Domestic Offender Crimes Section.
Province: Alberta
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
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