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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157210 Find in a Library
Title: Police Responses to Domestic Violence: A Study of the Use of Criminal Code Provisions Relating to Firearms
Author(s): C Meredith; C Paquette
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 53
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Department of Justice
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8, Canada
Canada Dept of Justice
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H8, Canada
Sale Source: Canada Department of Justice
Justice Bldg. Kent St., at Wellington St.
Ottawa ON K1A 0H8,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This study examined the extent to which Canadian police use the provisions of firearms acts in their response to domestic calls.
Abstract: Of specific interest were the Criminal Code provisions that empower police to search for and seize firearms from individuals believed by the police to pose a threat to the safety of themselves or others and to apply to the courts for orders that prohibit dangerous persons from possessing firearms. Related to these issues is the extent to which an individual's prospects of being issued a firearms acquisition certificate might be adversely affected by a history of domestic violence. The study methodology involved 1-day site visits to a sample of police jurisdictions across Canada. Nine jurisdictions were selected to reflect both regional and urban/rural differences in police agencies and their local environments. At each site, an attempt was made to interview at least six general-duty constables responsible for responding to domestic calls, as well as anyone identified as a domestic-response specialist. The data collected show that the majority of officers who respond to domestic calls have knowledge of the history of violence at a residence, the expressed threat of violence, and the presence of firearms in the household. In spite of the general, if not wholly consistent, possession of the required knowledge on the part of police officers, their use of the prohibition powers and the search and seizure powers was infrequent. Police policy and training in relation to domestic violence should encourage greater use of the prohibition and search-and-seizure powers in responding to domestic calls, especially where a risk of further or escalating violence is perceived. Also, firearms-acquisition-certificate application processors should review local occurrence reporting systems for reports of applicant involvement in domestic violence, with or without charges or convictions, and should be encouraged to consider whether the involvement reported constitutes reasonable grounds for refusal of the application. Appended interview guide for officers who respond to domestic calls, interview guide for staff responsible for issuing firearms acquisition certificates, and site-visit summaries
Main Term(s): Police domestic violence training
Index Term(s): Domestic assault; Female victims; Firearms acts; Foreign police; Police policies and procedures; Weapons violations
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