DPD Chief Constable Neil Dubord. (Delta Police Department photo)

DPD Chief Constable Neil Dubord. (Delta Police Department photo)

COLUMN: Delta police not seeing rise in domestic violence calls

Chief Neil Dubord says numbers in March and April ‘statistically average’ compared to three-year trend

By Neil Dubord, Delta Police Department

During this time, with all of us at home sheltering in place, there’s been talk about whether domestic violence is on the increase. It’s definitely something I was worried about, that those in abusive relationships may be suffering even more, with their options for getting away from the home reduced.

This is an issue we take very seriously — that’s not just lip service. Our domestic violence unit looks into every call that comes in to police which could be a sign of intimate partner violence, even if it’s just a loud argument that the neighbours overhear. This allows us to keep track of where known problem relationships might be in the cycle of violence. Is the “honeymoon phase” moving into the “tension building” phase? There’s a great chart that explains this cycle on our website.

Before I get into the numbers, I want to offer a caveat: I fully recognize that not all intimate partner violence is reported to the police. Perhaps not even the majority of this violence.

However, there is good news. There has been no increase in the number of intimate partner violence files being investigated by DPD, either in March or April. We had 10 investigations in March and 14 in April, which is statistically average for us compared to our three-year trend.

These investigations typically lead to police recommending a charge of assault, or sometimes uttering threats and mischief. These are just the new files that came into the DPD for investigation however; our domestic violence team is monitoring dozens of files on a daily bases and assessing the potential risk to all involved.

The domestic violence category does not include reports of familial violence, such as that between children and parents or grandparents, or between siblings. Fortunately, we are not seeing increases there either.

I also wondered whether there was some indication that COVID-19 was an additional element at play. As it turns out, about 13 per cent of calls flagged as COVID-19 related were domestic, intimate partner or family violence calls, but the vast majority of those were verbal only and did not lead to criminal investigations.

Chronic offenders continue to be the most problematic aspect of our domestic or intimate partner violence files. That’s one of the reasons why we have a co-ordinated multi-agency response to this issue. Together, our officers and these agencies keep track of the couples and their trends. They have monthly meetings that include Probation and the Ministry of Children and Families. Deltassist is also involved. It’s not just the police who are following up with offenders and the victims.

Anecdotally, we are hearing that the pandemic has meant a slower pace for some, and has taken a bit of the pressure off some families. But I’m aware that at any time that could change, and this won’t be true for all families. So, our domestic violence unit continually reaches out to ensure that when someone is ready to leave, they know that supports and help will be there.

It’s fair to say the COVID-19 pandemic has placed an extra strain on the family structure and relationships. We are living in unprecedented times with family incomes reduced, schedules changing and freedom restricted. People may be more likely to experience conflict in their personal lives while dealing with this change.

I want to remind the community that there is help out there for those experiencing threats or violence. Don’t live in fear. Call us.

If someone is in danger or a crime is in progress, call 911. Otherwise, contact our non-emergency line at 604-946-4411 or go to deltapolice.ca/victim for more information on domestic violence. The information is also available in Punjabi and Cantonese. I urge you to share this with anyone who might need to see it.

Neil Dubord is the chief constable of the Delta Police Department.

SEE ALSO: COLUMN: Now is the time to be vigilant of COVID-19-related scams


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey neighbours’ calls to police lead to break-and-enter arrest

‘Prime example’ of RCMP and public working together, constable says

Members of the Wheeling 8’s dance group go on a roll at Surrey’s Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in 2018, during the club’s 45th-anniversary event. If not for the pandemic, such activities could be socially prescribed as part of a new program involving Fraser Health and DiverseCity Community Resources Society. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
‘Social prescriptions’ connect Surrey seniors to activities and other services they need

Fraser Health-backed program involves GP referrals to a Seniors’ Community Connector with DiverseCity

Linda Annis, Aug. 12, 2020. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Annis wants independent auditor general for Surrey

‘Surrey taxpayers deserve the best possible oversight of the tax dollars they send to city hall,’ Surrey councillor says

SkyTrain’s end of the line, for now, in Whalley. (File photo)
Provincial budget watchers lament no mention of Surrey SkyTrain expansion

But $1.66 billion is earmarked for a second hospital for Surrey, in Cloverdale

The Da Vinci Experience is scheduled to open at Tsawwassen Mills (5000 Canoe Pass Way) in June, with early bird tickets for shows July 15 to Aug. 15 on sale now. (Submitted photo)
‘Immersive art experience’ in Tsawwassen to showcase work of Leonardo Da Vinci

The Da Vinci Experience to open at Tsawwassen Mills in June, early-bird tickets on sale now

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read