Why are the statistics for Charlottetown Police Services so high for “unfounded” sexual assault cases? According to Statistics Canada, and recent reports in The Globe and Mail newspaper, the number of unfounded cases (that is, sexual assault complaints that are dismissed as invalid) are deeply concerning. Indeed, P.E.I. has the dubious distinction of having the highest unfounded rates in the country—coming in an alarming 24 per cent.
Interestingly, neighbouring New Brunswick has cut the unfounded rate for sexual assault cases, with significant declines in both Fredericton and Saint John, from 30 per cent to 17 per cent.
It goes without saying that this is a serious problem that needs tending to. It’s long past time for the Charlottetown police to incorporate a new approach: meaningful advocate case review, specialized sexual assault training for officers and a careful implementation of the so-called “Philadelphia model.”
When is the Charlottetown Police Services going to get with the program? More importantly, why are provincial and municipal officials not holding them to account?
Professor and Chair, UPEI
Department of Political Science