CACP Statement - Sexual Assault Investigations

    02/10/17 - 02/10/18

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    As law enforcement leaders, our focus is always to ensure the safety of our communities and the most vulnerable among us. Sexual assaults are one of the most traumatic crimes that a person may experience.

    It is important that we assure Canadians, especially those who are victims of sexual assault, that we do not treat such cases lightly and that our focus is first and foremost on safety and wellbeing of the victim. Police services across Canada continue to work with victim serving agencies and victims’ advocates to enhance procedures and share best practices. We understand the value of data collection and that data needs can change over time.

    Victims must have confidence in going to the police knowing that we will respect their dignity and have their best interests at heart. We do so with the knowledge of how traumatic such crimes are and how reporting the crime can, at times, be almost as traumatic as the crime itself. 

    While police services across this country are continually striving to provide the best service, we can always do more. Our goal is to provide a victim-centered response.

    Moving forward, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP) wish to encourage all police services to review practices around sexual assault investigations as many currently are. In addition, I am requesting the CACP Victims of Crime Committee and our Crime Prevention, Community Safety and Wellbeing Committee to recommend standards for training (including trauma-informed investigation), procedures and policies based on best practices, and share them throughout the policing community,

    In addition, I am requesting the Police Information and Statistics Committee examine how statistics are recorded and reported to Statistics Canada and make recommendations on how reliable and consistent statistical information may best be collected. 

    As we go through this evaluation, we are mindful that the core value of those serving in law enforcement is the desire to help others, in particular, victims of crime. That is why we chose this profession. We are committed to the safety and security of all Canadians and will continue to work to earn and maintain the public’s confidence and trust.

    Directeur Mario Harel


    Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

    The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police was established in 1905 and represents approximately 1,000 police leaders from across Canada.  The Association is dedicated to the support and promotion of efficient law enforcement and to the protection and security of the people of Canada. Through its member police chiefs and other senior police executives, the CACP represents in excess of 90% of the police community in Canada which include federal, First Nations, provincial, regional and municipal, transportation and military police leaders.