PEI

P.E.I. has the highest rate of sex assault cases deemed unfounded by police

P.E.I. leads the country with the highest percentage of sexual assault cases that are deemed unfounded by police, according to numbers released Monday by Statistics Canada.

24 per cent of cases unfounded, according to new Statistics Canada report

In 2017, 24 per cent of reported sexual assault cases on P.E.I. were deemed unfounded by police. (Blair Gable/Reuters)

P.E.I. leads the country with the highest percentage of sexual assault cases that are deemed unfounded by police, according to numbers released Monday by Statistics Canada.

In 2017, just over 24 per cent of reported cases of sexual assault on P.E.I. were deemed unfounded. 

Nationally, the rate was 14 percent — a drop of five percentage points since 2016 — according to the report, Unfounded criminal incidents in Canada, 2017.

Previously the province had reported nearly 40 per cent of cases on P.E.I. were deemed unfounded.

That number came from a review by the provincial government.

The province launched a working group late last year to look into why the Island's numbers were so high.

The P.E.I. Department of Justice said in a written statement to CBC Monday it has brought in new reporting methods and training for police, including ways to interview victims and gather evidence.

"All Island police agencies are now using the new uniform crime reporting definitions related to sexual assault established by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics," said the statement.

The province has also appointed a senior Crown prosecutor to handle cases of sexual assault.

According to Statistics Canada, media reports and the #MeToo movement were part of the reason for the trends nation wide of more reporting of sexual assaults.

More P.E.I. news

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