Kelowna RCMP apologizes for failing to investigate sexual assault complaint at university campus

The RCMP superintendent in Kelowna, B.C. has apologized to a girl at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus for failing to correctly inspect her grievance that she was sexually assaulted by way of a fellow resident advisor.

“On behalf of the RCMP please accept my apology for the best way in which you had been treated and the failure to properly look at your complaint in the first place,” Supt. Kara Triance wrote in a letter to the sufferer dated Oct. 21, 2021.

Triance’s letter was shared with CBC News by the Vancouver Rape Aid and Women’s Shelter (VRRWS) on behalf of the sufferer.

In a information unencumber, Triance said the RCMP’s preliminary reaction to the woman’s criticism was once “now not in line” with the Kelowna RCMP’s investigative requirements.

“i’ve very top expectancies of my cops when it whilst it comes to professionalism, respect, accountability, and the way we ship our police products and services,” Triance stated in the commentary. 

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according to VRRWS, which says it’s talking on behalf of the victim, the 20-year-vintage was running as a resident advisor at the UBC Okanagan Campus in Kelowna in September 2019 whilst she was sexually assaulted by every other resident consultant. 

CBC News attempted to succeed in the lady Tuesday evening, however she was no longer right away to be had for an interview.

the girl reported the incident to police the following Might, in step with Triance’s letter. In an announcement, VRRWS says police instructed the woman that “investigating the grievance was once now not well worth the RCMP’s time.”

Vancouver Rape Aid says the victim begged the officer in query — who has been identified as a woman in private correspondence with the victim — to look into it, hoping an research could lead to charges.

Files complaint

However, Triance states in her letter that the officer omitted the sufferer’s requests and falsely recorded within the document that the victim wasn’t interested in police pursuing charges.

Ten months later, in March 2021, the woman filed a criticism with the RCMP’s Civilian Overview and Court Cases Fee (CRCC). Police then reopened her record, launched an research, and really helpful a sexual assault charge against the alleged attacker.

Kelowna RCMP reinvestigating 12 sexual attack cases at the beginning deemed ‘unfounded’

In her letter, Triance stated she supported all allegations made via the victim towards the RCMP, including forget of accountability and mistaken attitude.

She said the RCMP is committed to making an investment in coaching and holding officers accountable, and working with group services that can be offering support to sexual assault sufferers. 

“we are working to make sure that our reaction to crime centres around persons — figuring out that if we will be able to modification the trajectory of a person’s existence, impacted through violent crime, in how we reply and the way we offer police services, we will have progressed outcomes in the long run for the ones individuals impacted by way of trauma and for our society as a whole.” 

A intercourse crimes investigator has for the reason that been assigned for the Kelowna detachment. 

Officer has retired

The officer who gained the initial criticism has because retired from the force, which the VRRWS says stalled the research.

Remaining year, it was once announced that 12 sexual assault cases in Kelowna had been being reinvestigated through RCMP after they had been in the beginning deemed “unfounded.”

a national RCMP Sexual Assault Assessment Team used to be tasked with having a look over files from the Kelowna detachment after an strangely prime rate of cases have been being set aside as unfounded: 70 cases of sexual attack have been stated to the police in Kelowna in each 2017 and 2018 in keeping with Records Canada, FORTY in keeping with cent of which were pushed aside as unfounded — 3 times the nationwide average.

Sophia Hladik with VRRWS stated in a press release she hopes this example might be a “turning aspect” for a way the Kelowna RCMP handles reports of sexual assault. 

“Unfortunately, terrible police behavior in opposition to rape sufferers is still very common in lots of police detachments around the province,” Hladik stated. 

“We consider that only media publicity and constant public pressure will force a transformative modification in the prison justice machine and its reaction to violent crimes against ladies.”

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