Complaints

These are summaries of the result investigations of complaints that have been made directly to the Office of the Police Commissioner:

Complaint #19004 - A complaint was made that the Charlottetown Police Services (CPS) were negligent and unprofessional in a criminal investigation.  The complainant felt that the investigators did not conduct complete and through searches utilizing all resources available to them during their investigation.  The complaint also felt that a member of the CPS made inappropriate comments to the media.

The role of the Police Commissioner is not to determine whether a police service's investigatory decisions are right or wrong.  Our role is to determine whether or not the conduct in question violates the Code of Professional Conduct and Discipline Regulations.  A review of the explanation provided by the Chief of  Charlottetown Police Services and the investigation undertaken by them was completed by our office.  We found no evidence of neglect of duty or unprofessional behavior by members of the CPS and no violation of the Code of Professional Conduct and Discipline Regulations.

OPC File# 2019-005 - On May 28, 2019 an online complaint was received.  Complaint alleged that during a phone call from a Charlottetown Police member on April 4, 2019 they found the constable to be rude, intimidating, and persistent.

Section 23 subsection (1)(b) of the Police Act states that the complaint must be signed by the complainant.  Attempts were made by the Charlottetown Police Services and our office to meet with the complaint to give them an opportunity to provide a signed complaint and statement of events.   The complainant failed to do this. Without a signed complaint we could take no further action and subsequently our file was concluded on October 24, 2019 as unsubstantiated.  

 

OPC File# 2019-006 – On May 28, 2019 an online complaint was received.  Complainant alleged that during a traffic interaction on April 4, 2019 they felt threatened and harassed by a member of the Charlottetown Police Services.

Section 23 subsection (1)(b) of the Police Act states that the complaint must be signed by the complainant.  Attempts were made by the Charlottetown Police Services and our office to meet with the complaint to give them an opportunity to provide a signed complaint and statement of events.   The complainant failed to do this. Without a signed complaint we could take no further action and subsequently our file was concluded on October 24, 2019 as unsubstantiated.  

 

OPC File# 2019-007 - On May 28, 2019 an online complaint was received.  Complainant alleged that during a traffic interaction and subsequent investigation on April 4, 2019 they found the conduct of a member of the Charlottetown Police Service disrespectful, loud and rude.

Section 23 subsection (1)(b) of the Police Act states that the complaint must be signed by the complainant.  Attempts were made by the Charlottetown Police Services and our office to meet with the complaint to give them an opportunity to provide a signed complaint and statement of events.   The complainant failed to do this.  Without a signed complaint we could take no further action and subsequently our file was concluded on October 24, 2019 as unsubstantiated.  

 

OPC File# 2019-008 - On August 11, 2019 an online complaint was received alleging that the Chief of the Charlottetown Police Service breached the Code of Conduct by not laying charges of defamatory libel. The alleged libel occurred during the spring of 2019. The story in question was removed from the website shortly after the publisher received notice of the allegation.

The Commissioner found that the complaint did not allege any facts that could support a finding of a breach of the Code of Conduct. The choice by a police officer to lay a charge is a discretionary choice. Reviewing authorities should only interfere with that choice if there is evidence that improper factors were considered (R v Beaudry (2007) SCC). The complaint did not allege any improper factors and therefore the Commissioner declined to proceed with an investigation.

The Complainant made several further submissions regarding this matter. On April 30th, 2020 he made an application for judicial review of the Commission's decision in this matter which had not been issued as of that date. The Commission's decision was issued on June 11, 2020.

NB - The Commission's normal practice is not to release full decisions. Its view is that releasing summaries promotes transparency regarding policing but still protects the privacy of complainants. However, the decision in this matter is available for inspection at the Court Registry. There is also a public interest in judicial review of the Commission's proceedings. The documents in support of the decision are available for inspection at the Commission's offices upon appointment.

OPC File 2020-001– The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) on Jan. 02/2020 and was forwarded to the Chief of Police of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) for investigation.  The complainant alleged a member of the CPS abused his authority and deceitful behavior. This incident involved the arrest and incarceration of an individual for intoxication The CPS investigation concluded the officer involved had valid reasons for the arrest however did fail to advise the complainant of his charter rights at the time of his arrest or upon his release when sober.  The Chief Officer agreed the arrest was appropriate however found that while the level of intoxication may preclude the reading of his rights at the time of arrest they should have been provided upon his release.  As a result the Chief Officer found no violation of the Code of Professional conduct and dismissed the complaint as unsubstantiated. He did provide guidance to the officer involved on Charter requirements.

OPC File # 2020-002 - On February 7, 2020 a web complaint was received alleging misconduct by a member of the RCMP.  The Police Act (PEI) does not provide jurisdiction to the Office of the Police Commissioner to receive or investigate complaints against members of the RCMP.  This was explained to the complainant in this instance and they were provided with contact information to the local RCMP office and the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission of the RCMP.

OPC File 2020-003– The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) on May 27/2020 and was forwarded to the Chief of Police of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) for investigation.  The complainant alleged members of the CPS had failed to properly investigation a trespass complaint he had made.  The Chief Officer reviewed the original complaint.  He found it involved a civil dispute over boundry lines and that the officers had followed the proper course of action.  As a result the Chief Officer found no violation of the Code of Professional conduct and dismissed the complaint as unsubstantiated. 

OPC File # 2020-004 – On March 15, 2020 a web complaint was received that alleged misconduct by a member of the Nelson Police Department in British Columbia that occurred on January 6, 2018.  The complainant felt our office would have jurisdiction as the officer that was subject of the complaint was a graduate of the Atlantic Police Academy.  A letter was provided to the complainant explaining our jurisdiction was limited to police or instruction officers employed on Prince Edward Island and does not apply to those working in another province.  The fact that the officer graduated from the Atlantic Police Academy is not relevant as they were not employed on PEI.  They were provided contact information for the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of BC should they wish to pursue their complaint.

OPC File # 2020-005 - On March 22, 2020 an email was received concerning the conduct of a PEI Conservation officer in the issuance of a traffic ticket to the complaint’s son, a minor. The complainant stated the officer stopped the minor for a traffic violation but did not issue a traffic ticket at the time.  The officer did advise the minor he would be getting a ticket and recorded the name and contact info of the minor.  A couple of days later he texted the minor and made arrangements to meet him and give him his violation ticket which he did, in a public place.  The complainant provided a number of emails between herself and the conservation officer that align with their version of events.  The complainant was contacted and it was explained that the conservation officer had full authority of the Highway Traffic Act (PEI) to issue the ticket and to do so the way they did. It was explained that based on the information available, his actions would not be considered misconduct.  They were satisfied with this however concerned on the way it was issued using text to contact their son and without their knowledge.  While it is felt the conservation actions were done in good faith the way was issued could leave them open for other accusations.  With this in mind a message was sent to the conservation officer’s supervisor suggesting in the future tickets be issued at the time of infraction or, in the case of a minor, at their residence or the conservation officer’s office.   Issue resolved informally.

OPC File # 020-6- On March 27, 2020 – A web complaint was received alleging misconduct by two members of the Summerside Police Services(SPS) on December 27, 2019.  The complaint was forwarded to the Chief Officer of the SPS for investigation.   SPS advise that in spite of efforts to contact the complainant by email, phone and attending their residence he did not make any effort to return calls or make contact with their investigator.  On May 7, 2020 they did make contact and made arrangements for an interview on May 11, 2020 to take a statement providing details of the allegation.  He did not attend. On June 18 the Chief Officer of theSPS wrote the complaint advising they were closing their file.  Our file closed due to abandonment by the complainant.

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OPC File # 2020-007 On April 10, 2020 a web complaint was received from a gentleman who was upset over being called by Charlottetown Police about a traffic offence.  Felt he was being treated as a second class citizen and had ongoing issues with authorities.  Cited a recent example where he went through a red light and received a ticket.  He did not feel he should have been cited as it was 2-3 in the morning and there was not traffic around.  He also out lined ongoing mental health issues he had.  Call the complainant and explained that there did not appear an misconduct based on the information provided.  He agreed after discussion but felt the Police should have better training on how to deal with persons with mental health issues.  The issue was resolved informally.

OPC File 2020-008– The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) on July 17/2020 and was forwarded to the Chief of Police of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) for investigation.  The complainant alleged a member of the CPS had been negligent in their duties in that they failed to properly investigate a damage to property complaint.  The Chief Officer reviewed the original complaint.  He found it had been properly investigated.  As a result the Chief Officer found no violation of the Code of Professional conduct and dismissed the complaint as unsubstantiated. 

OPC File 2020-009– The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) on April 30/2020 and was forwarded to the Chief of Police of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) for investigation.  The complainant alleged a member of the CPS had been negligent in their duties and had acted in a manner likely bring discredit on the police service. The matter was investigated by the CPS professional standards unit and found to be substantiated.  The Chief Officer found that the officer had breached the Code of Professional Conduct and Discipline on both counts.  He imposed discipline in the reduction in rank for a six month period and a prohibition to act in a supervisory capacity during that period.

OPC File # 2020-010 On May 26,, 2020 a web complaint was received alleging misconduct by a member of the Summerside Police Service (SPS).  He alleges that when he went to the SPS office to complain about a traffic violation he was threatened by a member of the SPS.  The Police Act (PEI) requires that complaints be signed by the complainant.  Due to the present public health issue with Covid – 19 the police commissioner issued a directive allowing this to be replaced with a process whereby the complaint responds to an email from his office confirming the complainant did indeed submit the complaint.  In this instance the complainant did not respond to two emails and a registered letter.  We have concluded our file as abandoned by the complainant.

OPC File # 2020-011 On May 28, 2020 a letter was received from a Summerside resident detailing dissatisfaction with Summerside Police Services (SPS) response to a complaint concerning an incident involving a neighbour’s dog that occurred in August of 2019    It was explained that the Police Act (PEI) mandates that complaints be made within 6 months of occurring.  Since this occurred over 8 months ago our office had no jurisdiction to act on this.  . A letter was sent to the complainant explaining this. 

OPC File # 2020-012 On June 26, 2020 a web complaint was received complaining of the actions of a Conservation Officer that occurred on April 24, 2019. Section 21(2) of the Police Act (PEI) requires complaints be made within 6 months after the facts on which it is based occurred.  As this complaint was made more than a year after the occurrence our office had no jurisdiction to investigate.  Letter sent to complainant explaining the issue with his complaint.    

 OPC File 2020-015– The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) on Sep.15/2020 and was forwarded to the Chief of Police of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) for investigation.  The complainant had concerns about alleged  abuse their  authority and deceitful behavior by on officer. This incident involved the officer's response to a situation involving the supervision of a property pickup by one of the parties in a relationship that had broken up.  The Chief Officer review the report on the incident and the actions of  the officer involved and found they had acted appropriately.   As a result the Chief Officer found no violation of the Code of Professional conduct and dismissed the complaint as unsubstantiated. 

OPC File 2020-016 The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) via our website on Oct 21/2020.   Complainant upset that two marked police vehicles from Kensington had arrived at their son’s place to bring him in for questioning.  It explained that the OPC could not receive a complaint from a person not directly affected by the police action.  It was suggested they should call the Chief of Kensington Police Service to discuss and if still not satisfied their son could make a complaint. 

OPC File 2020-017 The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) via our website on Nov.25/2020.   Complainant wanted to report that members of the Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) were “profiling him”.  He made this complaint after being issued a traffic ticket by a CPS officer for driving while suspended.  Complainant claims he was driving ok but acknowledged his licence was suspended at the time. Did not feel CPS had not right to stop him.  Letter sent to complainant advising CPS officers were not profiling but simply carrying out their responsibilities and the OPC would be taking no further action on his complaint.

OPC File 2021-002 The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) via our website on March 14/2021.   Complainant was upset over how members of the Charlottetown Police Service had dealt with a complaint concerning their daughter that resulted in charges against the daughter.  As the Police Act precludes the making of a complaint by a person not directly affected by actions of the police a letter was sent by the OPC explaining this with a copy to the Chief Officer of the CPS so they would be aware of the concerns.

OPC File 2021-003 The original complaint was received by the Office of the Police Commissioner (OPC) via our website on March 16/2021.   Complainant alleges neglect of duty by a Charlottetown Police Service (CPS) officer for failing to do a proper search of his person and denying medical attention during his arrest in June of 2020.  The complaint was forwarded to the Chief Officer for investigation and review.  After review the Chief Officer dismissed the complaint as it had not been made with the six month time period as required by 21(2) of the Police Act.

OPC File 2021-005 – Complaint made that the Chief Officer of the Charlottetown Police Service  failed in his duty to notify the complainant  of their  right to appeal a decision he had made to dismiss a complaint they had made as required by the Police Act.   As the Chief Officer had retired he no longer fell under the jurisdiction of the Police Act. and not further action could be taken.

OPC File 2021 -007A complaint was received on our website that the Summerside Police Service face book page had a number of abusive, malicious and untrue remarks about the complainant posted on it and nothing was being done about it.  The matter was looked into by the Chief Officer who immediately took steps to remove the remarks, block the persons posting them and setting up a more vigorous monitoring system for their face book page.  Complainant contacted by the Chief Officer and was quite satisfied with the resolution.  The complainant was contacted by our office and confirmed this.

OPC File 2021-008 – A complaint was received on our website complaining of the actions of a Summerside Police Service member dealing with a juvenile without a parent or guardian present on a sensitive matter.  The Chief Officer of Summerside had an investigation completed which determined the contact was made in good faith and although not in compliance with policy it did not violate the Code of Professional Standards and Discipline Regulations.  The Chief Officer acknowledged the matter should have been handled differently and offered an apology to the complainant and the juvenile involved on behalf of the Summerside Police Service and the member involved.