Burnaby RCMP Victim Services Unit: Supporting their community

Photo: Burnaby RCMP

AS part of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, Burnaby RCMP are highlighting their Victim Services Unit, which is an essential component of providing a trauma informed response to victims of crime and trauma.

Burnaby RCMP Victim Services Unit (VSU) offers emotional and practical support to victims, survivors and their families. The program is integrated into frontline operations where they work in partnership with police to provide critical services, in a trauma-informed way, to victims of crime.

Burnaby VSU has 11 highly trained victim services workers who support individuals impacted by crime.

The following are examples of what RCMP victim service programs across British Columbia offer:

* Crisis intervention and on-scene attendance
* Emotional support to victims, witnesses and family members
* Practical assistance, such as safety planning, transition housing and victim impact statements
* Criminal justice information and support during the court process
* Referrals to agencies that can assist with counseling needs, grief support and housing needs to name a few
* Information on the status of the police investigation, justice system and crime prevention
Burnaby VSU can become involved with victims and witnesses a few ways, including crisis call outs to a traumatic event or follow up to a police investigation.

These services are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday to Sunday, including holidays. Burnaby VSU also responds to crisis call outs which are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In 2022, Burnaby VSU had a total of 367 crisis call outs, which increased by 27% from 2021. Also, in 2022 they opened 2,490 files, where they follow up, offer emotional support and when applicable, court support.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Burnaby VSU continued to offer full services, including on-scene crisis call outs. They worked countless hours and frequently had to be creative and adapt services to ensure victims continued receiving support. They were one of only a few victim services units in the Greater Vancouver Area to operate at full capacity during this time.

“I continue to be impressed by the dedication and commitment of our victim services unit,” said Inspector Peri Mainwaring, Burnaby RCMP’s Officer in Charge of Community Programs. “They provide an essential service that addresses the needs of those impacted by crime.”

As a result of their response to victims of crime in Burnaby during the pandemic, and their commitment to providing excellent service, in April 2023, the team received an award from the Officer in of Charge of Burnaby RCMP.

Burnaby VSU also supports other initiatives in Burnaby, including Burnaby Mobilization and Resiliency Table (BMART) and Burnaby Neighbourhood Incident Response Program (BNIRP). BMART responds to those who are at acutely elevated risk and BNIRP is a program that mobilizes to offer comprehensive support to communities within Burnaby who have been impacted by a traumatic event. Burnaby residents can also find victim services workers at community events, and information sessions.

If you live in Burnaby and would like to receive general information or resources you can contact victim services at 604-646-9700 or email BURNABY_VICTIM_SERVICES@rcmp-grc.gc.ca (neither phone nor email are monitored 24/7).


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