Gatineau Police to reopen unsolved sexual assault cases

Gatineau Police are changing the way its officers investigate sexual assault cases by teaming up with outside organizations.

So far this year, 245 cases of sexual assault have been reported to Gatineau Police. Police say on average 40 per cent of cases are submitted to the court, which means 60 per cent of cases will go unsolved or will be deemed unfounded.

Officers will review 2018 cases with experts from different agencies to return public confidence.

The organizations include the help centre for victims of criminal acts de l’Outaouais (CAVAC), the centre for intervention of sexual abuse for families, and youth protective services of Outaouais, to name a few.

“We want to be on top of best practices so that’s why we are over here with professionals that are specialized in the field,” said Insp. Eric Toussaint, with Gatineau Police.

 Police say the new collaboration is part of a pilot project.

The team will work on new cases. Officers will also review cases from 2018 if a victim requests it.

“We want to do more for victims,” said Kathleen Dufour from CAVAC.

Dufour says during the “Me Too” movement it’s especially important for victims to feel heard and respected.

Police said anyone who wants their case reviewed can head to the Gatineau police station, or connect online at police.gatineau.ca.