Media – FAQ
No. The OPCC is bound by an oath of confidentiality (see section 51.01 of the Police Act). The OPCC may not disclose that an investigation has been initiated or may be initiated under the Police Act or divulge any information relation to an investigation.
All media interview requests should be directed to Andrea Spindler, Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner. All enquiries will be responded to in a timely manner. Please let us know if your story has a deadline.
Telephone: 250-356-7458 or email@example.com.
Find out more information about the Complaints Process.
The OPCC is mandated to compile statistical information. We are also required to release this statistical information at least annually to the public. Each year, the OPCC is also required to release our annual report. Each annual report is completed on a fiscal year basis. This means that the report captures the work of the OPCC, complaint trends, and statistical information from April 1st, to March 31st in any given year.
The annual report provides information about the work of the OPCC and the complaint process, discussion of our public education and outreach activities and discloses any recommendations the OPCC made to police boards and/or government. We also release statistical information about complaint trends and provide summaries of all allegations that were substantiated. Read our latest Annual Report.
Currently, the OPCC does not have a Twitter or Facebook account. All enquires and requests for interviews must go through firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-356-7458.
Members of the media will receive media statements and releases directly from our office. View our Media Releases.
Email email@example.com to send in a request to be added to the media distribution list.
Parts 9 and 11 of the Police Act, which is the legislation which governs the complaint and disciplinary process for municipal police in BC, have very strict confidentiality provisions which place limitations on the OPCC for when we can release information or even confirm the existence of an investigation. As a result, the legislation supports that matters will be confidential and in limited circumstances, the Police Complaint Commissioner can release information. In an effort to support transparency, the OPCC will consider if, and what, information can be released on a case by case basis. This assessment includes a careful balancing of the privacy of parties involved, the need to protect integrity of investigations, the general confidentiality requirements as laid out in the legislation with the need for public awareness and understanding of matters that affect them and their community.
Disciplinary conduct investigations under the Police Act have a six-month timeline for completion but that timeline is subject to authorized extensions to ensure a complete and thorough investigation. In addition, this timeline relates to the investigation and does not reflect any disciplinary process that may take place.
Generally speaking, there are strict confidentiality provisions contained in the Police Act which prohibit the OPCC from disclosing that an investigation has been or may be initiated or releasing any information relating to an investigation under the Police Act. In cases where the Commissioner refers a matter to a retired judge for an adjudicative review (Public Hearing or Review on the Record), these matters are public and are posted to the OPCC website. A third type of review, called a “Section 117 Review”, where a retired judge is appointed by the Commissioner at an earlier point in the complaint process, as Discipline Authority, those cases are anonymized and posted to the OPCC website upon their conclusion. We also release anonymized summaries of all allegations of substantiated conduct on an annual basis.
The OPCC initiates mandatory Police Act investigations whenever death or serious harm results from an incident involving municipal police officers. The IIO effectively conduct investigations to determine whether an officer committed an offence. Investigations under the Police Act are much broader in nature and there are fundamental differences between the two.
These investigations will assess all of the circumstances including but not limited to, any training, policy, or misconduct allegations. Officers can also be compelled to provide statements, answer questions and otherwise account for their actions. They are under a duty to cooperate. The Police Complaint Commissioner may also make recommendations to Police Boards or to government regarding policies, practices or systemic issues that may contribute to the misconduct.