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