The Penticton RCMP detachment is watching the Kelowna detachment’s investigation into its high number of ‘unfounded’ sexual assault cases. Both detachments reported nearly double the provincial average of ‘unfounded’ sexual assaults in 2018, prompting public pressure to account for the discrepancy. (File photo)

Penticton RCMP do not intend to review sexual assault stats

Eleven out of 29 sexual assault cases in Penticton were deemed unfounded in 2018

The Penticton RCMP detachment has no plans at this time to review the high number of sexual assault cases deemed unfounded by the city’s police force last year.

In a press release issued today, Const. James Grandy said the detachment is aware that 11 out of 29 sexual-related offences were deemed unfounded in 2018, but will not be reviewing the cases like their counter-parts are in Kelowna.

“Although we are not in a position to discuss specific cases, we assure the general public that we take these reports very seriously and remain accountable for our investigations. We recognize that sexual crimes can be a life-altering event, and we continue to encourage survivors of sexual assault to report these crimes to police,” wrote Grandy.

“Penticton RCMP is monitoring and will pay close attention to the results of the review underway in Kelowna for any trends that may apply.”

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP reviewing sexual assault claims

READ MORE: Penticton sexual assault stats may not be accurate, says SOWINS

In Kelowna, similar data from Statistics Canada found 35 of 88 sexual assaults reported to police in 2018 were also deemed ‘unfounded.’

Both cities numbers are far above the provincial average of 15 per cent, with 38 per cent of cases dropped in Penticton and 40 per cent in Kelowna.

In response to public pressure to explain the discrepancy, Kelowna’s RCMP detachment conducted a preliminary review of its sexual assault reports from 2018 and requested the RCMP’s Sexual Assault Review Team from its national headquarters to review the 2018 and 2019 sexual assault files.

The RCMP did not state when the review is expected to be completed.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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