Port Hope, ON - (May 4, 2017) The Port Hope Police Services Board (PHPSB) has accepted the findings of an internal review of all sexual assault allegations deemed “unfounded” after investigation by the Port Hope Police Service. The review was requested by the Board after a media story indicated that the rates of cases deemed “unfounded” fluctuated widely across the province.
“The Board is satisfied that allegations of sexual assault are taken seriously and fully investigated by trained officers of the Port Hope Police Service,” said Jeff Gilmer, Board Chair. “The internal review confirmed that there is not a systemic problem within the Service and that residents of Port Hope can be confident in the professionalism and sensitivity of their local Police Service.”
The review included two stages. Firstly, an experienced administrative supervisor examined the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) classification of all incidents to determine whether they were classified correctly. This first step resulted in a finding that several incidents were improperly classified as sexual assaults. For example, one of the incidents was an anonymous call from an unknown third party claiming to have knowledge of a sexual assault. An investigator was assigned but the alleged victim absolutely claimed that she was not the victim of a sexual assault and denied any further police involvement. The incident was reclassified as “Police assistance 3 – unfounded”, which means this incident was not a sexual assault and that the police could not determine if any crime had been committed.
A number of other examples were found that were improperly classified, including one person who made multiple false accusations of sexual assault against several people in Port Hope that were found to have not occurred. This was a result of mental health challenges that were eventually diagnosed and treated. These incidents were reclassified due to the fact that no crime had been committed. A secondary examination was conducted by a Command Officer prior to any incident being reclassified.
The second phase involved an examination to see if the investigations were completed thoroughly and whether or not they reached proper and well-founded conclusions. All investigations were found to have been handled thoroughly and properly.
For more information:
Jeff Gilmer, Port Hope Police Services Board Chair
Contact # (905) 885-8123 ext.245