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

Convicted animal abuser to return to B.C. court May 21

Catherine Jessica Adams is facing a breach of probation charge

Northwest Fire Centre open burn ban lifted

Recent rain, cooler temperatures have lowered the region’s fire risk

Telkwa pot plant application passes review

Cannabis company claims new Health Canada regulations are working in its favour

Cullen demands action on Ecstall River

Failing to penalize parties involved undermines all salmon conservation efforts, MP says

Governments, industry bid on optimism amid timber review

The possibility of reduced forestry activity in the near future is sinking… Continue reading

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read