Jurisdiction and Legislation
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner oversees the handling of complaints involving 15 municipal police departments. The OPCC does not have jurisdiction over complaints involving the RCMP.
As of August 1, 2016, Special Municipal Constables appointed pursuant to the Police Act will fall under the jurisdiction of the OPCC. Most notably, this will now include Jail Guards, Traffic Authority members, Community Safety members, and Auxiliary/Reserve Constables that are employed as Special Municipal Constables.
There are two other agencies in British Columbia responsible for either investigating police-involved incidents or providing civilian oversight of police complaint investigations.
- Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP (CRCC)
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Act provides a separate process for complaints regarding a member of the RCMP.
The Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) for the RCMP is an independent agency created to ensure that complaints about the conduct of RCMP members are examined fairly and impartially. The CRCC conducts reviews when complainants are not satisfied with the RCMP’s handling of their complaint. The CRCC also conducts investigations, holds hearings, reports findings and makes recommendations for changes to national policing policies and practices. For more information about the CRCC, please visit www.crcc-ccetp.gc.ca.
Complainants who wish to file a complaint against an RCMP officer will be referred to the CRCC:
Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP
National Intake Office
PO Box 1722, Station B
Ottawa, ON K1P 0B3
- Independent Investigations Office (IIO)
The IIO is a civilian investigative body responsible for investigating officer-involved incidents that result in death or serious harm in order to determine whether or not an officer may have committed an offence. The IIO has jurisdiction over both municipal police agencies and the RCMP in British Columbia as well as officers appointed as Special Constables when they are exercising their authority as Special Constables. For more information about the IIO, please visit www.iiobc.ca.
The work at the OPCC is guided by the BC Police Act. This legislation gives the Police Complaint Commissioner certain powers to oversee investigations into police misconduct. The Act also sets out the rights of Complainants and Respondent Officers.
The Commissioner can make recommendations to government to improve the Police Act with respect to police oversight. View 2014/2015 OPCC Annual Report (Page 26) for more information [PDF]
Click here to access the Police Act