Re­view shows ‘un­founded’ sex as­sault cases han­dled prop­erly: Hal­ton po­lice

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - NI­COLE O’REILLY

Hal­ton po­lice say a re­view of sex­ual as­sault cases that were closed last year as “un­founded” de­ter­mined all were prop­erly in­ves­ti­gated, but the ser­vice will not be re­view­ing other years.

The re­view of un­founded cases — which are those closed be­cause po­lice do not be­lieve the crime oc­curred as re­ported — came af­ter a sweep­ing re­port pub­lished by the Globe and Mail found a na­tional av­er­age of 19 per cent of cases be­ing dis­missed in Canada be­tween 2010 and 2014. Both Hal­ton and Hamil­ton po­lice’s un­founded rate for that pe­riod was 30 per cent, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Hal­ton po­lice say they re­viewed 57 sex­ual as­sault oc­cur­rences from 2016 as part of their re­view, said spokesper­son Sgt. Barry Mal­ciw.

“All were de­ter­mined to have been prop­erly and thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated.”

When Hal­ton po­lice pub­licly com­mit­ted to the re­view Feb. 6, the state­ment read: “The Po­lice Ser­vice is un­der­tak­ing a re­view of all un­founded sex­ual as­sault oc­cur­rences, be­gin­ning with 2016, and will is­sue a me­dia re­lease when that re­view has been com­pleted.”

How­ever, Mal­ciw said Thurs­day po­lice are not re­view­ing any other years. “The re­view was only for the 2016 year,” he said. “No fur­ther re­views will be con­ducted for past years.” When asked to clar­ify why other years will not be ex­am­ined, Mal­ciw could not im­me­di­ately say why that de­ci­sion was made.

Of the 2016 cases re­viewed, Hal­ton po­lice found 15 did not oc­cur or could not have oc­curred as re­ported; the re­main­ing 42 cases were found to not have been true af­ter a “thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

“All re­ported in­ci­dents are fully in­ves­ti­gated,” po­lice said.

“Our Ser­vice is com­mit­ted to the thor­ough­ness of all crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and we pride our­selves in our vic­tim-cen­tered ap­proach to sup­port­ing those im­pacted by crime,” Chief Stephen Tan­ner said in a state­ment.

In Hamil­ton, po­lice have said they re­viewed statis­tics and made changes around train­ing in 2015.

The po­lice board also di­rected the ser­vice to do a ful­some re­view of “un­founded” sex­ual as­sault cases dat­ing back to 2010.

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