Amid media scrutiny, RCMP looking anew at 284 sexual assault cases from 2016
OTTAWA — The Mounties say they are going to take a new look at 284 sexual assault cases that they originally classified as unfounded.
The decision comes after the RCMP reviewed 2,225 sexual assault files from 2016 in which police concluded that no violation of the law had taken place or was attempted.
The force says 1,260 of the unfounded cases were misclassified and the 284 need further investigation.
The RCMP says a team in Ottawa reviewed reports from divisions across the country to assess all aspects of sexual assault investigations, consult with external stakeholders, partners and experts and provide direction on how to improve investigations.
In all, the Mounties say they responded to 10,038 reported sexual assaults in 2016.
Before the review, 22 per cent of the cases were ruled unfounded, but that label now covers 9.6 per cent.
The force says it is committed to supporting victims of sexual assault and treating them with compassion, care and respect.
It promises to conduct investigations consistently and to the highest professional standards.
Among other things, it says it wants to “increase public awareness and trust of RCMP sexual assault investigations and encourage greater levels of reporting.”
The Mounties announced the review last February, after a series of Globe and Mail reports that the newspaper said exposed deep flaws in the way investigators treat sexual assault allegations.
The Globe analyzed data obtained through freedom-of-information laws from scores of police services, and concluded that police across Canada close about one in five sex-assault cases as unfounded.
As a result of consultations with 30 NGOs and 44 government partners, including victim advocates, Crown prosecutors and health care workers across the country, the RCMP plans to develop a new sexual assault training curriculum.
It said the training will look at existing legislation and consent law and focus on trauma-informed investigative tools and approaches.
It will also highlight common myths and stereotypes, reinforce victim rights and support services and bolster supervisory oversight and review.
“This training will be inclusive of vulnerable populations including but not limited to: Indigenous people, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, sex trade workers, children and youth under 18,” The force said in a statement.
“It will also be reflective of the diverse cultures and communities the RCMP serves.”
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2017
Subscription CentreNew Subscription Already a Subscriber Customer Service View Digital Magazine Renew
Saskatchewan union raises concerns about fentanyl in correctional facilitiesREGINA — The union that represents Saskatchewan correctional workers wants…
Suspicious cues: The building blocks of patrolThere is no more valuable asset to any police service…
Want to be like Vancouver Police Const. Cinda Michael?Want to be like Vancouver Police Const. Cinda Michael? See…
Should police sell guns? Some chiefs say noSEATTLE — Kyle Juhl made one last attempt to patch…
NSSF Shot Show 2018
January 23-26, 2018
Paramedic Nat's 2nd Annual Evening For Mental Health
January 27, 2018
Panasonic Canada's Smart City Public Safety Summit
January 31, 2018
3rd Annual Mission 500 Hockey Classic
February 15, 2018