London

'Unfounded' police sexual assault review extended to understand gaps

London's police service is expanding its review into how it investigates sexual assault cases following criticism it was classifying too many as 'unfounded.' It's also giving itself more time to complete the job.

The London Police Services Board wants to do a 'deep dive' delaying its final report until December 2018

(CBC)

London's police service is expanding its review into how it investigates sexual assault cases following criticism it was classifying too many as 'unfounded.' It's also giving itself more time to complete the job. 

The committee tasked with investigating said Friday it will look specifically at the Indigenous experience and those suffering from mental illness who have been sexually assaulted. 

These two "gaps" in the system have been identified following three months of consultation with people from a variety of backgrounds, including sex workers and people who identify as LGBT. Community leaders in the field of sexual assault support have also provided input.

"Some people chose to contact the London Police Service Board [LPSB] directly, and we received a number of emails from people who wanted to contribute their experiences directly," reads a written statement from the Police Services Board. 

The committee said consultations are taking more time than anticipated, and the deadline for the final report will be pushed back to December 2018. 

The extra time will be spent continuing to talk to Indigenous individuals and those suffering from mental illness, as well as a complete review of the literature. 

Researchers with an interest are being asked to volunteer to help bring that information together.  

"The LPSB has made the development of the sexual assault investigation policy the top priority," and added that it intends to "respond to the voices of people in the community" to update it.

Until this review began, it had been 18-years since the sexual assault investigation policy was last written. 

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