The IIO is mandated to conduct investigations into police-related incidents of death or serious harm to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence. The IIO has jurisdiction over all of BC’s policing agencies, including 11 municipal agencies, the RCMP, The South Coast BC Transportation Authority Police Service and the Stl’atl’imx Tribal Police Service. The IIO’s jurisdiction extends to officers appointed as special provincial constables, municipal constables and includes on- and off- duty officers. The IIO’s authority comes from the British Columbia Police Act, which requires the police to notify the IIO of an incident that may fall within its jurisdiction.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) respecting investigations was signed by the Chief Civilian Director of the IIO and those police services that fall under the IIO jurisdiction.
The IIO undertakes public interest investigations and conducts them to a criminal law standard. There does not need to be an allegation of wrongdoing for the IIO to conduct an investigation. The IIO gathers all evidence and reports back on the results. The IIO does this in as transparent a manner as practicable under the circumstances while respecting the integrity of the investigation and the privacy interests of those involved. Importantly, where a matter of public interest is not referred to the Crown for the consideration of charges the CCD will release a public report outlining all of the relevant facts and reasons for the decision not to refer the matter to the Crown. This allows the public to understand the basis for the decision.