B.C. Ombudsperson Jay Chalke (Black Press files)

Disturbing complaints about RCMP cells lead to call for oversight

Ombudsperson gets complaints of strip search, lack of hygiene

Complaints of an attempted strip search and other incidents involving guards at RCMP detachments show the need for better oversight of municipal lockups in B.C., Ombudsperson Jay Chalke says.

Chalke said Monday his office has received a series of complaints about people detained in communities policed on contract with the RCMP, but has no jurisdiction to investigate them. B.C.’s Police Complaint Commissioner and the RCMP’s civilian oversight agency also don’t cover municipal RCMP lockups, he said.

Two complaints about guard conduct have been brought to the Ombudsperson’s office recently.

“One was from a young woman who said she was menstruating when she was detained and was denied feminine hygiene products and access to a shower,” Chalke said. “Another complaint came from a woman who identified herself as as an immigrant and victim of domestic assault, who said she experienced an attempted strip search and assault by a male guard at a municipal lockup.

“These allegations were not verified or investigated because there is no independent body able to investigate them.”

READ MORE: Complaints about B.C. government up, Ombudsperson says

READ MORE: IIO investigates after woman dies in RCMP custody

Chalke said he raised the issue a year ago with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, and it requires a “fully independent statutory process” to address it.

B.C.’s Police Complaints Commissioner oversees municipal police officer conduct and the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is a civilian-led organization that investigates incidents of death or serious harm involving police officers.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country Food Bank welcomes wheelbarrow load of donations

Rotary Club presents symbolic cheque for the $24,600 raised since August 2018

Vernon family shares story of son’s cancer recovery to encourage blood donation

Finlay Ritson’s parents can’t donate blood, but hope his story will encourage others to do so

WATCH: North Okanagan seniors stay fit in self-isolation

Residents have taken to their balconies to follow along in exercise class

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: Kelowna woman worried over increased prescription dispensing fees

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

COVID-19: Online tool helps vulnerable people in North Okanagan receive aid

United Way’s tool connects those in need with pre-screened volunteers in the local area

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

COVID-19: Staying home in Shuswap is difficult when you don’t have one

As the snow flies, people without homes in Salmon Arm talk about how tough life is

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Vernon politician questions if response to COVID-19 worse than virus

Precautions make sense but destroying economy in process doesn’t, says Coun. Scott Anderson

‘Always look on the sunny side,’ Okanagan senior says

Heaton Place resident shares story of growing up in Roaring Twenties

92-year-old Vernon woman crochets 1,000 toques for donation

Daisy Ferguson has been working on the toque project for the past six years

Most Read