(File)

Kelowna RCMP ‘not in a position’ to explain unfounded sexual assault numbers

‘We are committed to ensuring the public that we are accountable for our investigations,’ Kelowna RCMP

Kelowna RCMP is continuing to look into unfounded reports of sexual assault in the city but is yet to provide answers on why local stats are more than double the provincial average.

The RCMP said it received 82 reports of sexual assault in Kelowna in 2018, 30 of which were deemed unfounded.

“We understand that there are many questions about the roots of these statistics, and we’re taking immediate steps to get answers,” says Cpl. Meghan Foster of the Kelowna RCMP.

“The BC RCMP has conducted a preliminary review of these files, but we are currently not in a position to provide specific examples of why any of these investigations were deemed unfounded. For every investigation, there are many variables — each investigation is different and we do not want to deter any other survivors from bravely coming forward to report a sexual assault.”

READ MORE: ‘Steeped in rape culture’: Sexual assault survivor speaks out against Kelowna RCMP

READ MORE: Forty per cent of sexual assaults in Kelowna deemed ‘unfounded’ in 2018

While the RCMP said it encourages sexual assault survivors to report these crimes, there are times when charges may not be laid. It added that reports of assaults contribute to police records, which can help further other investigations and identify repeat offenders.

“We are aware that people may find the number of unfounded sexual assault files unsettling, and we are committed to ensuring the public that we are accountable for our investigations,” continued Foster. “In addition to the preliminary review of these files, Kelowna RCMP has requested that the RCMP’s Sexual Assault Review Team at National Headquarters review our 2018 and 2019 unfounded sexual assault files.”

After a Globe and Mail series called Unfounded was published in 2017, the RCMP formed the Sexual Assault Review Team, a group of experienced sexual assault investigators and experts in gender-based violence. The team is meant to look at each file to ensure that all investigative steps were followed and that the file was categorized correctly.

“If this review indicates that not all investigative steps were followed, the file will be designated for a secondary review to determine what additional steps need to be taken by investigators and will be sent back to the BC RCMP for further review and/or investigation,” stated the RCMP in a release.

“Sexual assault is a devastating crime, and the RCMP is committed to improving how its employees respond to victims and investigate allegations of sexual assault.”

The RCMP encourages anyone who feels that their case was not investigated properly to go to their local detachment and request a review. If a victim is not satisfied with the RCMP review, complaints can be made through the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP at crcc-ccetp.gc.ca.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandekamp moving on from Cowichan Capitals

Head coach returns to AJHL’s Grande Prairie Storm

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

City of Duncan to consider a 3.16% tax increase for 2020

But council may consider delaying discussion due to COVID-19 crisis

Spike in thefts in Duncan has police issuing advice

Police have noticed an increase in property crime in the Duncan area… Continue reading

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read