Complaint and Review Process

The Public Complaint Process

The Commission accepts complaints about the on-duty conduct of RCMP members from individuals:

  • Directly involved;
  • Who witnessed the conduct itself;
  • Authorized to act on behalf of the complainant.

Complaints about RCMP member conduct can also be made by the Commission Chairperson if the Chairperson determines that there are reasonable grounds to investigate. Chairperson-Initiated Complaints are processed in the same manner as a complaint from a member of the public.

A complaint must be made within a year of the alleged conduct occurring.

A Chairperson-Initiated complaint allows the Commission Chairperson to set the scope of the RCMP’s investigation of a public complaint.

If the Commission Chairperson is of the opinion that it would be in the public interest for the Commission to investigate a complaint instead of the RCMP, the Commission will conduct a Public Interest Investigation.

Public Interest Investigations can be launched in relation to a complaint received from a member of the public, or as a result of a Chairperson-Initiated Complaint.

The Commission may refuse to deal with a complaint if it:

  • Is not filed within a year of the occurrence;
  • Concerns decisions regarding disciplinary measures;
  • Has been, or could be, more appropriately dealt with through a different process; or
  • Is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith.

A complaint can be lodged with:

  • The Commission;
  • Any RCMP member;
  • The provincial authority responsible for receiving complaints against police in the province in which the subject of the complaint took place.

A Public Interest Investigation is a public complaint investigation conducted by the CRCC rather than the RCMP.

The Review Process

When a complaint is made, typically the RCMP carries out the initial investigation into the complaint and reports back to the complainant.

If a complainant is not satisfied with the RCMP's handling of their complaint, they may request that the Commission conduct a review of the RCMP's investigation.

Upon such a request, the Commission obtains all relevant material from the RCMP and assesses the RCMP's investigation of the complaint.

The Commission is an independent agency and does not act as an advocate either for the complainant or for RCMP members.

The role of the Commission is to make findings after an objective examination of the information available and to make recommendations that improve policy and performance of the RCMP and its members.

If, in conducting its review, the Commission finds the RCMP did not conduct a thorough investigation, the Chairperson can request that the RCMP make further enquiries.

Following its review, if the Commission is satisfied with RCMP's handling of the complaint, the Chairperson issues a Satisfied Report to the RCMP Commissioner, the Minister of Public Safety, the complainant, and the member(s) involved, thereby ending the review process.

If, at the conclusion of the review, the Commission is not satisfied with the RCMP's handling of the complaint, the Chairperson will issue an Interim Report, outlining various findings and recommendations directed at the RCMP, which will be sent to the RCMP Commissioner and the Minister of Public Safety.

Once the Interim Report has been reviewed by the RCMP, the RCMP Commissioner gives notice, identifying which recommendations the RCMP will act on. If no action is to be taken, the Commissioner must provide reasons.

After receiving the Commissioner's Response, the Chairperson considers the RCMP's position and prepares a Final Report. This report is then provided to the RCMP Commissioner, Minister of Public Safety, the complainant, the member(s) involved, and the appropriate provincial Minister. This completes the Commission's review process.

Complainants must request a review within 60 days of receiving the RCMP’s formal response to their complaint.

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