Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2010-2016 sexual assault cases to be reviewed by Canadian police forces

Study: 10,000 sexual-assaults from 873 different jurisdictions found baseless

On February 3, 2017 Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, published the results of 20-month-long investigation into how civilian police handle sexual assault allegations. The Globe investigation reviewed more than 10,000 sexual assaults cases gathering data from 873 police forces across Canada, save and except investigations conducted by the military.

The findings exposed deep flaws at every step of the police investigation process. 

Particularly disturbing, the Globe and Mail found that police dismissed ONE out of every FIVE sexual-assault reports  - meaning that police believe the crime did not happen. The problem is even more acute in the Canada’s North.  See “The Challenge of Handling Sex Assault in Canada’s North.”

In the wake of the Globe investigation, most police forces, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have decided to review the sexual-assaults case that were labelled as 'unfounded' for compliance with police policy and appropriate decision-making. For the Ontario Provincial Police alone, this means that no less than 4,000 sexual-assaults cases are to be reviewed. 


Military Police 2010-2016 Sexual-Assaults Investigations

During period 2010-2014, the military police dismissed 29 % of sexual-assaults as being ‘baseless.” In 2016, the Military Police’s dismissal rate dropped by nearly a third; 11 percent.

On March 13, 2017. Brigadier-General Robert Delaney, Provost Marshall (Chief of Police), announced that the Military Police will review all sexual-assault cases that were dismissed as unfounded going back to 2010. This means that no less than 167 unfounded cases will be reviewed. 

Breaking with tradition, the Provost Marshall also said that he is hoping to include ‘outside expertise” in that review similar to a program which has been running in Philadelphia since 2000, in which local advocacy groups are invited once a year to go through the police department’s sex-assault case files for signs of bias and investigative deficiencies. That model is considered as the gold standards in policy accountability.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/02/rape-philadelphia-investigation-crisis-crimes

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