Kelowna RCMP has explained why its systems reporting the number of criminal charges awaiting approval from the Crown differ from the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS).
Detachment Superintendent Kara Triance told city council this week (Feb. 28) that property crime, and other charges including violence and mischief, totalled 3,358 in 2021 with 2,765 awaiting an assessment from the BCPS. Information provided by the BCPS showed a total of 1,962 reports to Crown Counsel with 2,048 accused submitted by Kelowna RCMP last year.
“In my response to questions from council about the backlog of files with Crown Counsel, I provided the information based on our system which is different from how the BCPS tracks these files,” said Supt. Triance. “We are working closely with the BCPS to provide more accurate and consistent information that will help all of us better understand what needs to be done to address property crime in our community.”
The information provided by Kelowna RCMP was based on the number of court files sent to the BCPS, the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) as well as the Integrated Court (IC), accounting for a higher number of files. A statement from RCMP claimed its tracking systems are different than those used by the BCPS and they operate independently from one another.
The data the RCMP track is also different. Their systems track a file at the beginning phase and the end phase of the judicial process but not as it moves through the court process. Of the 3,358 charges sent to the Crown as mentioned in Supt. Triance’s presentation to council, 2,675 may not be in charge assessment, but rather at one of the various stages of the judicial process, reflecting the difference in how the two organizations track files.
The statement also claimed Kelowna RCMP and BCPS senior management teams meet monthly, and this is the first time they have reported to the community on these statistics and are looking at ways to improve clarity on this data.