Despite historic lows in reported part one crimes in the City of Hartford (see HPD crime statistics) particularly in rape, robbery, burglary, auto theft and larceny, and a double digit reduction in shooting incidents and shooting victims, the HPD has identified an alarming trend; an increase in domestic related aggravated assaults.
In 2008, domestic related aggravated assaults increased by 36 percent over the previous year, from 138 in 2007 to 186 in 2008, accounting for close to 25 percent of all aggravated assaults. During the same period domestic related aggravated assault arrests increased by 56 percent over the previous year, from 73 in 2007 to 130 in 2008. In 2009, domestic related aggravated assaults have continued to increase, up 10 percent over 2008, accounting for 31.6 percent of our total aggravated assaults.
This trend, identified through the Hartford Police Department’s COMPSTAT process, prompted my inclusion of the creation of a Domestic Violence Response Unit in the department’s strategic plan for Fiscal Year 2009-2010. This unit will serve families in the City of Hartford struggling with the victimization of domestic violence. It is my intent that the proposed unit will be responsible for the investigation of serious domestic violence cases and the identification and tracking of repeat domestic violence offenders. I anticipate the unit creating a partnership with the State’s Attorney’s Office and victim advocacy services to ensure follow-up referral services for victims and enforcement action of perpetrators where necessary. My staff is currently in the process of designing the program and will be seeking funding sources at the state and federal level.
Domestic Violence incidents not only impact those who are abused, but they affect family members, friends, co-workers and the community at large, as witnessed in the recent kidnapping and hostage incident in Hartford and South Windsor. Domestic related calls for service are among the most dangerous facing law enforcement. It is my belief that a renewed emphasis on domestic related violence that utilizes prevention and intervention will ultimately reduce the repetitive and escalating nature of this violence that threatens the safety of our entire community.
Click here for more HPD crime statistic information visit the HPD Crime Analysis webpage..