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London, Ont., police make changes after review of sexual assault investigations

LONDON, Ont. — The chief of the London, Ont., police force says a review of more than 1,000 sexual assault files found an average of six per cent between 2010 and 2016 were unfounded.


September 21, 2017
By The Canadian Press

Chief John Pare says the review analyzed all 1,030 sexual assault investigations coded as “unfounded” to determine if it was an appropriate classification.

As a result of the review, Pare says the London Police Service has changed the way in which sexual assault cases are classified to more appropriately reflect the result of the investigation.

Pare says the clearance code “unfounded” will only be used in those cases where it has been determined through credible evidence that the offence did not occur or there was no violation of the Criminal Code or other federal statute.

The review report also outlines steps that will be taken to develop evidenced-based, trauma-informed investigations to provide the best response and support for victims of sexual violence.

Pare says the force will also introduce a community-based case review process based on the so-called “Philadelphia Model” which enables an outside, expert review to ensure cases are properly and thoroughly investigated.

“Unfortunately, categorizing investigations in which there was inadequate evidence to support a charge or the complainant decided to not participate as unfounded left the incorrect impression that victims were not believed by investigators,” Pare said Thursday. “This is categorically incorrect.”

The terms of reference for the review process will be developed by a new advisory committee that will be comprised of community representatives and police service members.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017