An Exploratory Study on Police Oversight in British Columbia: The Dynamics of Accountability for Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Municipal Police

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Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Stelkia, K. (2020). An Exploratory Study on Police Oversight in British Columbia: The Dynamics of Accountability for Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Municipal Police. SAGE Open. DOI: 10.1177/2158244019899088.

Date created: 
2020-01-09
Keywords: 
Police oversight
Complaints against the police
Civilian oversight
Police misconduct
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Canadian police
Abstract: 

Independent oversight of Canadian police has increased over the past decade in response to a number of high-profile cases of police misconduct and public dissatisfaction with internal police investigations. To date, however, the dynamics of the oversight process have not been subjected to critical analysis. This study examines the benefits and challenges of the oversight systems for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and municipal police in British Columbia, Canada, as well as the role of oversight in increasing police accountability, improving public confidence, and modifying police behavior. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with persons (n = 13) from oversight agencies, police unions, special interest groups, and professional standards units, the study found that despite having one of the most progressive oversight models in Canada, the system faces major challenges. These include slow processing of complaints, the administrative burden of minor complaints, the difficulty in determining return on investment, and the two-tier complaint model.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
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