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NRP Officers Do Remarkable Work: Chief

Police board also heard 'troubling' number of domestic violence charges

Niagara police services board is calling the number of domestic violence charges laid in 2023 troubling.

Detective Matthew Catherwood revealed to the board this morning there were 6,688 calls for service to police that year.

"Of those, 1,149 of them became criminal investigations.  They weren't a frivolous argument, they met the threshold of a criminal investigation.... so, either an assault, theft, mischief, or a variety of criminal offences."

He says of those investigations, 803 resulted in a total of 1,424 criminal charges, which Board Chair Jen Lawson called troubling.

She also asked how many of these cases involved repeat offenders.

While he couldn't give an exact figure, the detective admitted there are repeat offenders.  "It's one of the reasons why we have the high risk review team.  That list varies, there are people that come on and off that list.  They may go off that list for a time, and not be under review, but then something happens and they go back on that list.  Or there's people that have been on there since I was involved in the unit."

Some of the calls are for keeping the peace, or a child custody argument.

Earlier in the meeting, officers across the region received recognition from their Chief.

Bill Fordy said there's been six high risk calls since Saturday.

He adds in one case they believe a tactical medic saved the life of an individual in crisis.  "They are doing remarkable work, at a volume that is exceptional, in some respects it's concerning, because they are so busy.  But they are doing an outstanding job, and I wanted to recognize the work that they're doing."

He thanked front line officers, communication unit, negotiators and others for their work.

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