Review: Windsor's Unfounded Sex Assault Case Rate Is Very Low

The Chief of the Windsor Police Service is pleased with the results of an internal review of sexual assault cases handled by city police.

The review was prompted by a 20-month long investigation by The Globe and Mail that found one in five allegations of sexual assault was deemed to be unfounded.

It led to individual police services taking a closer look at their record on sexual assault allegations, including the one conducted in Windsor.

Chief Al Frederick says the article cited Windsor's very low 3% rate of unfounded cases. He says their review of cases dating back to 2010 resulted in a slightly higher number, but it's still very low: "We're very pleased. As I think I've tried to express a number of times, that of course we had this lowest unfounded rate in the country. After our review, although it went up to 6%, it's still one of the lowest unfounded rates in the country and within that acceptable range."

Frederick says the ultimate goal is to make sure victims of sexual assault feel trusted by the police investigators: "The key to all of this is at the end of the day there's a victim. She needs to feel, or that person needs to feel, believed by the police. Until evidence leads you one way or the other, the most important thing is the care for that victim and the believability of that person."

Superintendent Pam Mizuno was responsible for conducting the review, which she says found a few coding errors leading to the higher number.

She says in cases deemed to be unfounded, they took a closer look at the police interviews and other evidence.

Chief Frederick is also pleased that they lay charges in nearly half all cases and have a conviction rate over 30%.

The Globe and Mail report also found the LaSalle Police Service had one of the highest rates of sexual assault allegations that were deemed unfounded.

The result of an internal investigation in LaSalle have not been released.