Review of the RCMP’s Bias-Free Policing Model
On May 22, 2018, the Chairperson notified the Minister of Public Safety, pursuant to subsection 45.34(1) of the RCMP Act, of his decision to initiate a specified activity review of the RCMP's bias-free policing framework.
The RCMP's commitment to bias-free policing—that is to say, the equitable treatment of all persons by all RCMP employees in the performance of their duties—is reflected in its Code of Conduct, its Mission, Vision, and Values statement, and is entrenched in its national policies.
Research into policing practices emphasizes the importance of ensuring that policing actions are fair, equitable, and unbiased regardless of:
- National or ethnic origin
- Sexual orientation
- Gender identity or expression
- Marital status
- Family status
- Genetic characteristics
- Conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered
Areas of policing most at risk of being subject to bias are generally those where police officers have the highest level of discretion.
As a means of evaluating the RCMP's broader application and practices vis-à-vis bias-free policing, the Commission is concurrently examining the RCMP's street check policies, procedures and practices, as well as the RCMP's policies, training and accountability frameworks in relation to crime reduction units in contract provinces. Together these reviews will provide insights into how the RCMP's bias-free policing model works in practice.
In addition, the Commission is conducting a follow-up review of the RCMP's policies and procedures regarding strip searches.
The Commission's review will examine, at the national and divisional levels, the adequacy, appropriateness, sufficiency and clarity of the RCMP's bias-free policing policies and training.
The review will also assess the broader application and accountability framework that is in place to ensure RCMP members adhere to these policies, including but not limited to:
- Recruitment, hiring and promotional processes;
- Race/ethnicity data collection practices; and
- The process for handling complaints of bias, discrimination, and/or racial profiling.
The review will not, however, make any determination in relation to a specific incident or to specific individual member conduct.
Once the investigation is complete, a report containing any findings and recommendations will be provided to the Minister and the Commissioner, as well as provincial ministers responsible for policing in contract provinces.
A copy of the report will also be made publicly available.
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