(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.

Just Posted

School District 8 addresses student vaping

School District 8 (Kootenay Lake) Superintendent Christine Perkins outlined in a letter… Continue reading

Wolverine film comes to Creston

This November, an exclusive regional film tour dives into the world of… Continue reading

Peter de Groot inquest scheduled for May

Inquest will be held in Rossland

Wildsight annual photography show Local Colours returns to Creston

Creston’s annual Wildsight photography show, Local Colours, is back again for its… Continue reading

The great Tilia Bake-Off comes to Creston

The great Tilia Bake-Off comes to Creston

B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

‘It’s been 12 years’: Father of murdered B.C. real estate agent pleads for mayor’s help

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008 in Saanich. Her case is unsolved.

B.C. woman sends fight to reduce preventable medical errors to Victoria

Teri McGrath and South Okanagan senior’s centre members presented 150 signature petition to local MLA

B.C. First Nation Chief Ed John faces historic sex charges

John served as minister for children and families under then-premier Ujjah Dosanjh

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Adoption centre closes despite effort to save it; B.C. left with two agencies

Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling in Victoria was set to close in April

Most Read