FAQ Group: Police

How does the CCD’s standard of referral compare to police agency standards of referral to the Criminal Justice Branch?

The CCD’s standard of referral to Crown Counsel is similar to the traditional referral standard for police agencies in British Columbia. The CCD will recommend charges to the Crown in cases where he finds there are reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed. However, no charges are laid unless approved of by the Crown. In approving charges, the B.C. Prosecution Service must be satisfied there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered by the IIO and that the prosecution is in the public interest.

What happens at the end of an IIO investigation?

The Chief Civilian Director (CCD) of the IIO reviews all investigations upon their conclusion, in order to determine whether “an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment, including an enactment of Canada or another province” per s.38.11 of the Police Act.

If the CCD concludes that an officer may have committed an offence, the matter is reported to Crown Counsel. If a report to Crown Counsel is not made, the CCD is permitted by s.38.121 of the Police Act to publicly report the reasoning underlying the decision.

Why use the term affected person?

Many of the individuals involved in an IIO investigation are “suspects” in police concurrent investigations. Rather than use the terms suspect or victim, the IIO believes that more neutral language is consistent with its mandate to conduct fair and unbiased investigations.

Does the IIO investigate members of the public?

No. The IIO only has jurisdiction to investigate police officers and on-duty Special Provincial Constables. Local police retain responsibility for any investigation into the alleged actions of the person who was injured during the incident with police. This individual is referred to as the “affected person” in the IIO investigation.

What is the IIO and what does it investigate?

The IIO is a civilian-led agency that conducts investigations into all officer-related incidents that result in death or “serious harm” as defined in Part 11 of the Police Act, within the province of British Columbia. The IIO has jurisdiction over officers employed by the RCMP, Municipal Police, Transit Police, Special Provincial Constables and Tribal Police. IIO jurisdiction includes critical incidents occurring both on and off duty.

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