(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

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Shuswap cabin owner hopes to improve B.C.-Alberta relations

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Single-lane traffic on Highway 1 in Salmon Arm due to aging watermain

City says goodbye to cast-iron main while moving it off highway, into park

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read