OPP announces 2017 Victim Response Support Strategy
The Ontario Provincial Police have announced a Victim Response Support Strategy, which includes several actions they are taking to improve the response to and support for sexual assault victims. The strategy outlines several initiatives that focus on victim support, investigative excellence and oversight.
“The Victim Response Support Strategy outlines the actions the OPP is taking to ensure victims of sexual assault are able to report their experiences with confidence that they will receive the support and services they need,” said OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes. “The OPP is committed to investigative excellence, strengthening our relationships with community partners and agencies, and putting additional accountability measures in place to improve the response to and support for victims.”
Key improvements include:
• Resources to support informed, responsive officers
• Victim response and support liaisons
• Regional leads, Victim Response Support Unit
• Research analysts, Victim Response Support Unit
• Regional collaborations
• Ongoing training
• Data integrity
• Victim Response Support Unit
• Regional Collaborative Review Committees
• Provincial Stakeholder Governance Committee
The OPP Victim Response Support Strategy is the result of the OPP Sexual Assault Data Classification and Investigative Review, which examined sexual assault cases closed by police as “unfounded” between the 2010 and 2016. The review included a directive to reopen any sexual assault report that was found not to be properly investigated.
Of the 5,322 unfounded cases reviewed, 3,463 (65 per cent) were cleared correctly, 1,859 (34.9 per cent) could potentially have been cleared using another classification, and 12 (0.2 per cent) were reopened for investigation.
Both the OPP Victim Response Support Strategy and the review findings can be found at opp.ca/victimstrategy.