Disturbing complaints about RCMP cells lead to call for oversight

Ombudsperson gets complaints of strip search, lack of hygiene

B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke (Black Press files)

Complaints of an attempted strip search and other incidents involving guards at RCMP detachments show the need for better oversight of municipal lockups in B.C., Ombudsperson Jay Chalke says.

Chalke said Monday his office has received a series of complaints about people detained in communities policed on contract with the RCMP, but has no jurisdiction to investigate them. B.C.’s Police Complaint Commissioner and the RCMP’s civilian oversight agency also don’t cover municipal RCMP lockups, he said.

Two complaints about guard conduct have been brought to the Ombudsperson’s office recently.

“One was from a young woman who said she was menstruating when she was detained and was denied feminine hygiene products and access to a shower,” Chalke said. “Another complaint came from a woman who identified herself as as an immigrant and victim of domestic assault, who said she experienced an attempted strip search and assault by a male guard at a municipal lockup.

“These allegations were not verified or investigated because there is no independent body able to investigate them.”

READ MORE: Complaints about B.C. government up, Ombudsperson says

READ MORE: IIO investigates after woman dies in RCMP custody

Chalke said he raised the issue a year ago with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and it requires a “fully independent statutory process” to address it.

B.C.’s Police Complaints Commissioner oversees municipal police officer conduct and the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is a civilian-led organization that investigates incidents of death or serious harm involving police officers.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man in his 20s in hospital following shooting in Abbotsford

Incident takes place Tuesday night in 31700 block of South Fraser Way

Kids get free pizza for breakfast, thanks to Abbotsford restaurant

Pizza Garden holds giveway on Thursday, Oct. 24

Westbound Highway 1 crash in Langley

Collision occurred just past 264th Street, left lane is blocked

Abbotsford Police officer exchanged ‘inappropriate messages,’ says report

Office of Police Complaint Commissioner releases annual report

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

‘Find Trevor’: B.C. man’s dog leads searchers to rescue him after fall during hike

‘I’ve had lots of intelligent dogs, but Purple is in a class herself’

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Faster response may have prevented fatal outcome at B.C. trampoline park

Coroner’s report rules Greater Victoria father Jay Greenwood’s death accidental

Police watchdog investigates early morning fatality in Langley

Man died at scene following struggle with RCMP officers

Homicide team deployed in Coquitlam

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team investigating near Seaton Avenue, Ducklow Street

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

More than 100 ‘luxury’ dog outfits stolen from Surrey woman’s vehicle

Kathy Neumeyer says 100-plus dog sweaters and raincoats were nicked from her SUV last week

Greta Thunberg declines invitation to Victoria due to time, not ferry emissions

Thunberg confirmed that she will be joining a climate strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday

Most Read