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RCMP should not police themselves: Watchdog

Mounties should not investigate themselves on serious cases thatinvolve death or sexual assault, according to a report releasedyesterday.

Mounties should not investigate themselves on serious cases that involve death or sexual assault, according to a report released yesterday.

The current system, which was used to investigate the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport, is flawed, inconsistent and fails to instill public confidence, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) has concluded.

“As the seriousness of an alleged offence by a member increases, the discretion for the RCMP to respond as it deems appropriate must be removed and be replaced by mandatory requirements,” said CPC chair Paul E. Kennedy.

The RCMP doesn’t have “solid policies” on how internal criminal investigations should be handled.

Of the 28 cases examined, a main investigator who personally knew the accused conducted 25 per cent of them.

In 60 per cent of the cases, a lone investigator was assigned and their qualifications varied significantly.

To remedy the situation, the CPC is recommending the creation of a National RCMP Member Investigation Registrar to co-ordinate the development of policies.

Serious investigations should be referred to an external police force or provincial criminal investigation body with the involvement of a CPC observer.

A manual should also be created to give Mounties guidelines on how to handle lesser offences.

Kennedy said the changes are necessary because police are held to a higher account by the very nature of the work they do.

 
 
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