September 27, 2022
Vancouver, B.C. — Following is a statement from Brian Sauvé, President of the National Police Federation:
“The National Police Federation (NPF) supports many of the themes and recommendations identified in the Province of B.C.’s recently released report, titled “A Rapid Investigation into Repeat Offending and Random Stranger Violence in British Columbia”.
The report presents 28 recommendations, many of which will call for cross-disciplinary planning and collaboration among healthcare, mental health and addictions, social services, housing, and policing professionals.
Our Members and all police have been shouldering the load for repeat mental health and addictions-related crimes for far too long. This is not only unfair and misguided, but also detracts from the real issue which is a lack of services and supports for our most vulnerable and marginalized citizens, who far too easily become either victims or perpetrators of these crimes.
Adding to this, various changes to legislation have weakened the Court’s ability to sentence appropriately. With all governments aiming to reduce recidivism, more research and supports are needed across Canada to effectively address the foundational issues leading to repeat offences.
Several successful mental health programs exist across Canada, using a multi-disciplinary approach including mental health professionals, social services, police and others working together, but the reality is that decades of underfunding has severely limited these desperately needed programs; especially in rural and remote communities.
While police will always be required for high-risk and violent mental health-related calls to protect those at risk—including mental health professionals—many low-risk and routine mental health related calls may not require a police presence.
It’s simply not sustainable or constructive to continue to expect police to bear this alone in the absence of the other critical support pillars.”
About the National Police Federation:
The National Police Federation (NPF) was certified to represent ~20,000 RCMP Members serving across Canada and internationally in the summer of 2019. The NPF is the largest police labour relations organization in Canada; the second largest in North America and is the first independent national association to represent RCMP Members.
The NPF is focused on improving public safety in Canada by increasing resources, equipment, training, and other supports for our Members who have been under-funded for far too long. Better resourcing and supports for the RCMP will enhance community safety and livability in the communities we serve, large and small, across Canada.
For more information: https://npf-fpn.com/
Fabrice de Dongo
Manager, Media Relations