(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

Three arrests on guns, drug charges after shots fired in Oliver

Two men from Penticton involved in arrests at Oliver home with assault rifles and drugs

Heads up, it’s fawning season in Penticton

Baby deer seen frolicking through downtown Penticton Wednesday afternoon

Okanagan School of the Arts evicted from Penticton’s Shatford Centre

The school faced massive revenue loss during the COVID-19 pandemic

Penticton RCMP express concern over allowing public drinking

RCMP said they expressed their concern to the city but will do their best ensure safety

WATCH: North Okanagan golf cart stolen, then returned

Homeowners have footage of two men taking the cart and then bringing it back

Police watchdog investigating fatal crash in Kelowna

Kelowna RCMP received a report of a single-vehicle collision on Bulman Road near Highway 97 on June 1

Kelowna council greenlights ‘The Wedge’

The wedge-shaped building will be built at the corner of Leon Avenue and Water Street

Vehicle stolen in Revelstoke recovered near Salmon Arm after occupants suffer overdoses

Police say they were alerted to the vehicle after occupants treated by ambulance after drug use

Province looks to seize Kelowna home owned by alleged drug trafficker

Michelle Collins and Nigel Byrne were also recently investigated by Kelowna RCMP for drug trafficking

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Highway 1 closed after body found near Hope

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, highway has been closed for 10 hours in both directions

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read