The Victims of Crime Branch consists of the following units:
Child Abuse Unit
The Child Abuse Unit investigates all cases of intra-familial and extra-familial abuse (physical and sexual) where the complainant is presently under the age of 16 years.
All cases involving intra-familial abuse and any other cases involving child safety/protection issues are jointly investigated with the community Children’s Aid Societies as per established written protocol.
The Unit works in partnership with local community social agencies involved in the field of child protection by participating as members of community child abuse committees and by conducting joint training.
Crimes Against Seniors Unit
The Crimes Against Seniors Unit investigates crimes against persons that are 60 years of age and older or at risk adults, who are being victimized primarily because of their age.
The Unit works closely with community agencies to insure that all reported cases of assault, financial exploitation and neglect against the elderly are properly investigated.
Sexual Assault Unit
The Sexual Assault Unit investigates all cases of sexual assault involving victims / survivors who are 16 years at the time of reporting. All follow-up investigations are completed by specially trained Detectives who work within the Sexual Assault Unit. Members of the Sexual Assault Unit have excellent working relationships with our community partners and work together to ensure the necessary supports are provided to each victim / survivor.
Missing Person Unit
The Missing Person Unit coordinates all Missing Person and Unidentified Human Remains investigations. Currently, the Hamilton Police Service investigates over 1,800 reports of missing persons each year.
All reports of Lost and Missing Persons shall be thoroughly investigated in accordance with the level of risk and documented on a Missing Person’s Report. This is particularly important when dealing with persons such as: Children, Indigenous Women, Victims of Domestic Violence, Sex Trade Workers, Elopees, Wandering/Vulnerable persons ie: Seniors, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Autism Spectrum and Cognitive difficulties.
This unit works in conjunction with Uniform Patrol, Homicide, Investigative Services Division, Human Trafficking Unit, Media Relations Officer, Victim Services and the Coroners Office. The collaboration with various communities agencies such as: Alzheimer’s Society/Medic Alert, Local Aboriginal Communities, Autism Ontario and Hamilton Acquired Brain Injury Association, is equally as important to ensure that all reports of Missing Persons are properly investigated.
Domestic Violence Unit (DVU)
The Hamilton Police Service has a Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) which is comprised of two Detectives. The DVU is responsible for reviewing DV reports and completing risk assessments for potential high risk offenders. The DVU facilitates the bi-annual Domestic Violence Officer’s Course, provides training to Officers during the annual mandatory Block Training and educates all other personnel such as Communications/911 on the issues of domestic violence. The DVU is the liaison with the Violence Against Women community agencies, working collaboratively to address their domestic violence based concerns and quality of service. Additionally, the DVU is a resource for HPS members and the Detectives are available for consultation, guidance and mentorship. Further, the DVU represents the HPS at several community committees to address domestic violence issues, trends and problems from a police perspective.
One of the most vital roles of the DVU is offender management of high risk domestic violence offenders. The DVU will forward high risk domestic offenders to the Bail Compliance Unit for enhanced supervision if released on bail. If the offender has been sentenced and is nearing release from custody, the DVU Detectives attend the Correctional facility to meet with the offender. These meetings are an opportunity for the Detective to make a positive connection with the offender to help support them in their goals (e.g. may need assistance in connecting with the Children’s Aid Society to access supervised visits with their child), find out their plans upon release and ensure that they are aware that there will be a zero tolerance if they are not compliant with their terms of release. The DVU will then disseminate a service wide notice of an impending release of a high risk offender and will include a photo, release conditions and a message emphasizing zero tolerance. Detectives will also then liaise with Probation & Parole to discuss the results of their offender interview and will transfer offender management upon release in to the community.
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