Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Posting
SURREY – The Chief Civilian Director of the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has made a report to Crown counsel in relation to an in-custody serious harm investigation in Langford, B.C.
On March 16, 2014 a female affected person was in police detention within the cell-block at West Shore RCMP Detachment in Langford, BC. During an interaction with subject officers, she sustained injuries including a broken jaw.
Although this incident took place on March 16, 2014, the IIO was not notified until May 25, 2015. In accordance with the MOU between police agencies and the IIO, the CCD previously filed a formal complaint with RCMP E Division citing the 14 months delayed notification. The Criminal Operations Division of the RCMP E Division is currently reviewing the concerns raised by the CCD and will keep the IIO apprised of its findings.
In the meantime, the CCD has completed his review of the incident and has forwarded a report to Crown counsel for consideration of charges. Pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, the CCD considers that an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment. The threshold for referral to Crown is lower for the IIO than for other law enforcement agencies in the province.
The Chief Civilian Director does not make a recommendation on whether charges should be approved or what charges Crown counsel should consider. Under the Crown Counsel Act, the Criminal Justice Branch has jurisdiction over the charge assessment and charge approval process. In approving charges, the Criminal Justice Branch must be satisfied not only that an offence may have been committed, but that the commission of an offence can be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal Justice Branch policy provides that in making this assessment Crown counsel will apply a two-part test:
- There must be a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the investigating agency.
- A prosecution must be required in the public interest.
Under these circumstances, no public report will be issued by the IIO and no further information will be provided.
Acting Director, Public Engagement & Policy
Communications & Stakeholder Relations Liaison