Sexual assault investigations are often challenging and complex. When a sexual assault is reported to police, our investigators work to determine the circumstances, identify and preserve evidence, and conduct a thorough investigation. Sexual assault is a devastating crime that has traumatic and long-lasting effects on victims, and the RCMP takes its responsibility in these investigations seriously.
On February 9, 2017, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson instructed all RCMP provincial/territorial divisions to review unfounded sexual assault cases from 2016. Since then, National Headquarters has also reviewed a sample of historical unfounded cases.
The RCMP expects to receive all Divisional reports in the coming days. The RCMP’s Contract and Aboriginal Policing Branch at National Headquarters will review these reports, as well as the sample of historical unfounded cases, to understand the national picture and develop an appropriate and coordinated response to address the issue.
The RCMP will examine whether existing operational policies are being followed across the country and if any enhancements are needed. The RCMP will also review current cadet and in-service sexual assault investigation and gender-based violence training. Finally, through its review, consultation with divisions and engagement with external stakeholders, the RCMP will identify best practices or models that can be adopted.
The RCMP will share the results of its review with Canadians once complete.