The annual report from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner says there were fewer complaints about the Nelson Police Department in 2021-22 compared to the previous year.
The report says there were 12 formal complaints and three investigations ordered, versus 15 complaints and two investigations in 2020-21, although few specifics were provided.
The office issued one recommendation, asking the Nelson police board to respond to a complainant’s concern brought forward to the board, including an anticipated date for the completion of a Trauma Informed Practice (TIP) course for officers.
The review stemmed from a complaint from an individual who outlined their concerns about NPD’s handling of sexual assault reports. The individual, who is not named in the report, asked that Nelson police undertake a third-party review of unfounded sexual assault investigations and review the investigative procedures related to them. The complainant alleged investigations are biased against women.
According to the report, the board reviewed the complaint and advised the NPD was currently reviewing the procedures, training and policies of other police departments relating to sexual assault investigations that emphasize trauma-informed practices.
The board has since said they are responding to “discrete concerns and requests” of the complainant by adopting the Canadian Framework for Collaborative Police Response on Sexual Violence. They are also working with provincial groups on improving and standardizing sexual assault investigations.
The board has also confirmed that all officers with Nelson police have completed the online TIP course.
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner said they will be taking no further action with this case.