Draft Regulation respecting the conduct of investigations the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes is charged with
The Québec Ombudsman welcomes the draft Regulation respecting the conduct of investigations the Bureau des enquêtes indépendantes is charged with. Basing its arguments on the experiences of other Canadian provinces that have created independent investigative bodies, the Québec Ombudsman addresses four specific aspects of the draft regulation that bear reviewing and recommends the following modifications:
- Prohibit police officers who witness the occurrence from communicating among themselves and with the police officers involved.
- Include sexual assault allegations in the definition of serious injury.
- Include the obligation of the director of the police force involved in the occurrence to report any incident that can reasonably be considered relevant to the Bureau’s mandate.
- Provide for a direct reference to penalty systems in cases of failure to comply with the obligations set out in the regulation.
The investigative procedure for serious incidents involving police officers has been among the Québec Ombudsman’s leading concerns in recent years. Aware of the importance of maintaining public confidence in police services and the justice system, as early as 2010 the Québec Ombudsman pointed out the need for significant changes to Québec’s investigative procedure and tabled a special report on the subject in the National Assembly.