Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

– Abuse of author­ity re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem within the RCMP and hurts not only in­di­vid­u­als, but the in­tegrity of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, the ef­fi­ciency of op­er­a­tions and the ef­fec­tive­ness of the Moun­ties as a whole. – The force has failed to ad­dress the prob­lem of ha­rass­ment, beyond lo­cal, limited pro­grams, with no ef­fort by na­tional head­quar­ters to in­sti­tu­tion­al­ize re­forms.

– Given those fail­ings, strong civil­ian over­sight and govern­ment lead­er­ship are re­quired to en­sure sus­tained re­form.

– As it is cur­rently set up, the Of­fice for the Co-or­di­na­tion of Ha­rass­ment Com­plaints has a use­ful but limited role.

– Com­plaints are of­ten han­dled badly, with poorly trained de­ci­sion­mak­ers us­ing the wrong le­gal tests and look­ing at ir­rel­e­vant and prej­u­di­cial con­sid­er­a­tions, which may re­sult in com­plaints be­ing dis­missed as un­founded.

– Civil­ian ex­perts should be re­cruited at se­nior lev­els of hu­man re­sources and labour re­la­tions.

– The gov­er­nance struc­ture within the RCMP should be mod­ern­ized to bring in civil­ian gov­er­nance and/or over­sight and to en­hance ac­count­abil­ity.

– The RCMP should adopt a sim­pli­fied def­i­ni­tion of ha­rass­ment in its poli­cies, fol­low­ing the ap­proach adopted by the Cana­dian Hu­man Rights Tri­bunal and other Cana­dian ju­ris­dic­tions, to fa­cil­i­tate the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and res­o­lu­tion of valid com­plaints.

– Poli­cies and pro­ce­dures should be re­vised to give divi­sional com­mand­ing of­fi­cers the dis­cre­tion to screen com­plaints to de­ter­mine if a prima fa­cie case of ha­rass­ment has been made out, ap­ply­ing an ap­pro­pri­ately broad and sim­pli­fied def­i­ni­tion of ha­rass­ment.

- The force should hire skilled, com­pe­tent and ded­i­cated ad­min­is­tra­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tors (not uni­formed mem­bers), who are in­de­pen­dent of the chain of com­mand, to con­duct ha­rass­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

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