The RCMP has completed its internal review of the extremely high number of sexual assaults that were deemed “unfounded” by police in 2018 and 2019, however, the results will not be made public for several more weeks.
According to police, the RCMP is in the process of reviewing the results before the report is released to the public.
“We have completed the review and are going through the results,” wrote RCMP Cst. Solana Pare. “When we have a full understanding of the results, we will provide an update which should be within the next few weeks.”
The Kelowna detachment came under fire in September after Kelowna Capital News revealed 40 per cent of sexual assaults reported to police in 2019 were deemed “unfounded.”
Unfounded cases mean police didn’t find evidence that the crime was attempted or that it occurred at all.
According to Statistics Canada, the RCMP received 82 reports of sexual assaults in Kelowna in 2018, 30 of which were deemed unfounded, which as a percentage is more than double the provincial average.
“We understand that there are many questions about the roots of these statistics, and we’re taking immediate steps to get answers,” said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Meghan Foster in November.
“The B.C. 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.”
In addition to the preliminary review, the Kelowna RCMP requested the RCMP’s Sexual Assault Review Team at its national headquarters review the unfounded sexual assault files from 2018 and 2019.
“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 news release at the time.
“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.”