Bathurst Police Force confident in review of "unfounded" sexual assault cases

The Bathurst Police Force says it's confident it has best practices already in place and that it provides a thorough investigation when it comes to cases of sexual assault.

This as police forces coast-to-coast embark on a review of sexual assault cases that had been previously deemed "unfounded" following a lengthy investigation by the Globe and Mail.

Deputy Chief Ernie Boudreau feels the force does a good job investigating these cases and suspects discrepancies between departmental statistics may be due to how the numbers are reported to Canadian Centre of Justice Statistics.

Local statistics pertaining to "unfounded" sexual assault cases as reported by the Globe & Mail:

  • Bathurst Police Force - 39%(32 of 82 allegations)
  • RCMP - 50%(3 of 6 allegations based only on 2014 numbers)
  • BNPP -  38%(20 of 53 allegations)

When an assault is disclosed, Boudreau says, front-line officers accommodate the victim, take preliminary information and then pass it along to the force's general investigation unit which is made up of seasoned investigators.

Boudreau says a case being deemed "unfounded" does not mean police don't believe the victim, adding there are a number of reasons why a case could be deemed as such, and that the force is in the early stages of the review.

He says policies, directives, and laws are constantly changing and that it's imperative for forces to stay current in their best practices to ensure they are up to date with things like training and reporting mechanisms.

Boudreau says the review is a hot topic and that it will be discussed at length at next week's New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police meeting next week.