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Rising intimate partner violence leads to change in Windsor police procedure

A photo illustration of violence. (Shutterstock - image credit)
A photo illustration of violence. (Shutterstock - image credit)

Intimate partner violence accounts for almost half of all assaults in Windsor, according to the latest crime statistics released by Windsor police.

At a Windsor Police Services Board meeting on Monday, numbers for January showed assaults remain the leading category of crimes against persons.

Deputy Chief Jason Crowley said 45 per cent of those incidents involve intimate partner violence.

"It's a crime that often happens in private, maybe in a home or away from the public eye. It's not something that many people are aware of, or can see," Crowley noted.

"The actions we're trying to do, is trying to skirt that, and maybe look in a different window."

Deputy Chief of Windsor police Jason Crowley speaking after a meeting of the Windsor Police Services Board on March 21, 2024.
Deputy Chief of Windsor police Jason Crowley speaking after a meeting of the Windsor Police Services Board on March 21, 2024.

Deputy Chief of Windsor police Jason Crowley speaking after a meeting of the Windsor Police Services Board on March 21, 2024. (Dalson Chen/CBC)

Crowley said officers who respond to domestic incidents are now working with victim services and other units to connect with individuals even if no charges are filed.

Communication is taking place via a variety of means, including online. The goal is to speak with an individual in a setting without their partner.

"Our officers will go to a domestic report. Maybe no violence, maybe an argument. Two partners are having an argument. Someone will call us, we'll go, there are no charges. But then, we'll contact that victim, maybe by Zoom, at a time that's good for them," Crowley explained.

"And then we're learning a lot more about history, previous assaults, things like that."

Crowley said the change in procedure was initiated about two months ago, and more changes could be coming as Windsor police continue to address the problem.

During the month of January, Windsor police responded to 41 reports of assaults involving family members, and 90 reports of assaults not involving family.

There were also 21 reports of sexual assaults (seven involving family, 14 not involving family), and three reports of assaults on police officers.

Windsor police investigated no homicides in January, and Crowley said the city's Crime Severity Index is continuing to trend downward.

Meanwhile, thefts are the leading type of property crime, accounting for 56 per cent of all incidents in the category.

Crowley said 38 per cent of all Windsor thefts involve shoplifting at two retail locations.

Police are not disclosing the two locations.