Police in Sudbury say they will soon have an official strategy in place to help deal with female Indigenous victims of crime.
According to the Greater Sudbury Police Service, the policy is in response to the national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women.
"It provides information to the family," police superintendent Sheilah Weber said of the new initiative.
"It may be the first time that this Aboriginal family is interacting with the police and it really spells out what the role of the police will be — when they do speak with the police — what to expect," she said.
The strategy involves providing information to families who have had a female loved one go missing, Weber said, with the overall goal of providing help and support for female victims of crime.
"It really spells out what the role of the police will be." -Sudbury police superintendent Sheilah Weber
"So, Aboriginal women and girls who have been victim of crimes, they can sit with an Aboriginal support person and receive supports that are more in line with the Aboriginal community," Weber said, adding that Indigenous community partners were consulted in developing the strategy.
Formulating the new policy dates back to 2014, according to police chief Paul Pedersen.
"Is there something we can do locally to help protect our girls, help protect our women, help strengthen our communities before we wait for more studies, more reports and more inquiries," he said of the police's push to develop the new strategy.
The initiative is in its final draft and will be published in the next few weeks.
An estimated 1,800 women and girls are either missing or murdered in Canada.