B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke (Black Press files)

Disturbing complaints about RCMP cells lead to call for oversight

Ombudsperson gets complaints of strip search, lack of hygiene

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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bride thankful ailing stepdad was able to walk her down the aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Province pays $4.08 million for hotel to house fire victims

The Government of B.C. has purchased a new building to help people… Continue reading

Destination Campbell River relieved after receiving $65,400 provincial grant

The grant will help cover the peak-season operational losses during May to October and help in recovery efforts

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on a rare show near Campbell River

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a local tour operator’s boat for quite some time

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read