The group that oversees the annual review of how police handle sexual assault cases in the territory announced their 2021 findings, March 7.
The RCMP’s NT Sexual Assault Investigations Review Committee (SAIRC) is a group of territorial stakeholders, victims services organizations, victim and community advocates and the RCMP and is supported by the GNWT Department of Justice.
Since 2019, SAIRC has reviewed 26 sexual assault cases that either did not result in charges or were marked as unfounded with the aim of ensuring investigations were thorough and properly conducted, the report reads.
The committee’s report made the following recommendations:
- Police reports should be consistent, objective and proofread
- Victims should be referred to available community supports such as victim services and medical services
- The RCMP should ensure that appropriate interview rooms are available and continue to improve upon interview training for its officers
- Investigators should not assume a person’s gender identity
- Supervisory oversight and guidance were well documented on most
This feedback is presented to all Detachment Commanders each year by the RCMP and the advocates’ feedback is used to create the RCMP’s Sexual Assault Investigators Course.
“It is encouraging to be able to see improvements over time in the practices we’re seeing in file reviews. Our feedback is taken seriously and acted upon, and we’ve witnessed real changes in the way that investigations are conducted and victims are treated, supported and followed up with” Cpl. Jesse Aubin, NT RCMP SAIRC co-ordinator said in a press release.