Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ottawa cops presume they're *experts* ...

when it comes to their beliefs for determining if women have been sexually assaulted or not.

University of Ottawa criminal lawyer Blair Crew, said about a third of investigations into sexual assault end with police saying the allegations are unfounded. [...] he said Ottawa police tend to discount a higher proportion of sexual assaults than they do other crimes.

Crew said for a four-year period from 2003-2007, 31 per cent of sexual assault claims that Ottawa Police investigated were dismissed as unfounded — that is, they [believe] never happened — as opposed to unsubstantiated, where there isn't enough evidence to follow the case.

He said by comparison, Toronto's police — which had gone through an audit in how it conducts sexual assault investigations — found only seven per cent of claims to be unfounded. And the rate of claims reported to police that are ruled unfounded tends to be about two to three per cent for other crimes, said Crew. [...]

He said police, still largely male-based organizations, tend to view sexual assaults as something that didn't occur and treat claimants more as suspects than as complainants.

"Frontline sexual assault workers as well as [...] women that have been in my office over a number of years have been insisting they were sexually assaulted despite the police insistence that no crime occurred," he said.


When you consider the Ottawa police force employs individuals like Melanie Morris and Steven Desjourdy, and that it rejects close to 1/3 of all complaints of sexual assault. it's no surprise women don't bother filing charges.


fern hill said...

Stunning difference in numbers. I'm no fan of TO cops, but WOW.

deBeauxOs said...

IIRC, the audit the Toronto cops had to endure and then enforce its recommendations was part of the settlement with Jane Doe. Which is why they hate her so much - she didn't just walk off into the sunset with a cash settlement, but she challenged the validity of their system for handling sexual assault complaints.

WhigWag said...

This bears out one of the most important findings of the much-misunderstood (by Cons) victimization studies: that one of people's major reasons for not reporting crimes is their belief the police won't or can't do anything about it. And in many cases, it's not due to the mythical 'hug-a-thug' attitude of "The Left," but of the "Shrug-a-thug" indifference and biases of the police.

deBeauxOs said...

Here's one link to the Toronto police audit regarding the investigation of sexual assault complaints.

Beijing York said...

I have to wonder what the stats are for Winnipeg. I only hear of sexual assault arrests having to do with minors. I find that kind of odd given that there is so much domestic violence and disappeared Aboriginal women.

On a positive note, the WPD came to my door earlier this week. Someone from our building had called 911 without indicating the suite number. They had reported violent verbal fighting and the cops were knocking on all doors to figure out what might of occurred and who was involved. I was relieved that they took the call seriously.

double nickel said...

@BY..The Wpg cops aren't angels, but I haven't seen any evidence that they're are corrupt and brutal as those in Toronto or Ottawa (or Montreal). Of course, First Nations citizens probably have a different opinion.

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