British Columbia

Vancouver police officer investigated for allegations of abuse of authority

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is holding a public hearing into allegations of misconduct against a member of the Vancouver police department. Const. Brian Hobbs is accused of unlawfully entering a man's home and handcuffing him.

Public hearing to be held in August for officer accused of entering a home unlawfully, handcuffing man

The allegations are against VPD Const. Brian Hobbs related to an incident in November 2015. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is holding a public hearing into allegations of misconduct against a member of the Vancouver police department.

Const. Brian Hobbs is accused of unlawfully entering a man's home and handcuffing him.

The hearing stems from a complaint that was made by Andrew Fraser about an alleged incident that happened on Nov. 18, 2015.

On that day, Fraser told police he heard a ring from the back door of his home. When he went to investigate, he said he found a male who flashed his badge at him. 

Fraser claimed he asked the man why he was in the house but was then interrogated. He was told he was under arrest and was handcuffed. Officers searched his home

While Fraser claimed the officers had unlawfully entered his home, Hobbs claimed he was pursuing somebody he believed was in possession of stolen property.

Complaints process

Any complaints made about the conduct of police are investigated by police, with oversight from the Office of the Complaint Commissioner.

If warranted, a final investigation report is sent to a discipline authority — either a chief constable or a senior officer — who then decides if the allegations are substantiated.

In Hobbs' case the disciplinary officer found the allegations could not be substantiated. In such cases, if the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner disagrees, it can order a public hearing and, in this case, did.

"The commissioner disagreed with his reasoning ... he then ordered a public hearing where a retired judge is appointed and a public hearing council is appointed," said  Rollie Woods, deputy police complaint commissioner.

Woods said it's relatively rare for the process to go to a public hearing.

"The circumstances in this one are in question as to what actually happened. There are different versions of the events. Based on the evidence this office reviewed, the commissioner felt it needed to go to a public hearing."

The hearing will allow the officer to testify if he wants to and cross-examine witnesses. The judge then makes a final decision.

Retired Provincial Court judge Brian Neal will preside over the public hearing scheduled to take place in Vancouver, Aug. 10.

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