February 19, 1993|
The Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services Inquiry into the administration of internal investigations by the Metro Toronto Police Force (Junger/Whitehead Inquiry) focused on the treatment of victims of alleged wrongdoing by the police.
The submission on behalf of Jane Doe highlights "stereotypical and unchallenged assumptions about female victims of sexual assault and harassment, and the causes of this behaviour (alcohol) ... permitted to influence an assessment of the seriousness of the misconduct, and the appropriate penalty." Counsel goes on to state that " the evidence suggest (sic) that sexist attitudes continue to manifest themselves in the investigation and prosecution of police misconduct against women in such that the issue requires further study and inquiry."
The Inquiry asked "How are female victims, particular victims of sexual crimes, treated by the police and the justice system? How can police forces be more effective in gaining the cooperation of victims?" The panel concluded that "Women view a court hearing on sexual assault as another ordeal to be endured. But with greater support and understanding from the police, as well as others, more of them will come forward to testify."
The OCCPS report states "if police forces expect civilians to come forward with information about allegations against police, they will have to reassure the public that those individuals will be involved and supported throughout the process." The Inquiry also recommended that "all Police Services Boards should develop policies committing their police force to the vigorous prosecution of all sexual assaults."
In response to the OCCPS report, the Board has adopted a directive that has established standards of conduct for members of the Force. In addition, the Board has initiated several policies and processes that ensure that the entire discipline system is monitored by the Board.
The Directive has established the following mechanisms and procedures in order to support victims, and especially where the alleged assailant is a police officer:
Thus a standard of conduct with regard to the discipline process has been established. How this standard is implemented is also of concern to the Board.
Internal Force Discipline
The Police Services Act states the duties of the Chief of Police include "administering the police force and overseeing its operation in accordance with the objectives, priorities and policies established by the board." The Chief is also responsible for "administering discipline in accordance with Part V of the Act.
Part V of the Act outlines the disciplinary proceedings. This section places a positive requirement for the Chief to investigate any apparent of alleged misconduct )S.58(1)). The Chief is also given the authority to hold a hearing to determine whether a police officer is guilty of misconduct.
Police hearings consist of a Trial Judge, Trials Prosecuter and defence lawyer. The Trials judge is appointed by the Chief. there is currently a "full-time" Trials Judge at the rank of Superintendent. There are currently five officers, at the rank of superintendent, who have been also designated as trials judges.
It is recommended that the Chief provide the Board with the criteria used to appoint trial judges and outline the training these individuals receive once they are appointed to their position.
Over the last number of years, the issue of training federally and provincially appointed judges has been a topic of concern. As a result both governments and judicial bodies have responded with specialized training. One such type training is gender sensitivity training which is now a component of the education programs that judges undergo.
For the last three years, the National Judicial Institute in Ottawa distributes training packages to newly appointed judges which contain a video on gender bias as well as a book on the issues. The Institute is also integrating gender issues into all the training received by judges.
In November 1992, provincial division judges in Toronto ran a workshop on gender equality with the help of experts from the Western Judicial Education Centre. The two-day session included round-table discussions in which judges would break off into groups to talk about issues such as consent in sexual assault cases.
There are more than 1,900 judges in Canada, and it is estimated that over 60% of them have received some sort of gender sensitivity training.
As part of the Chief's report on the selection criteria and training of Trials Judges, he should also report whether training as either noted above or similar to the above in content has been received and how gender sensitivity training has been or can be incorporated into this training.
Created: January 24, 1997|
Last modified: August 16, 1999
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