PE Ledger

Police in Charlotte will share sex assault reports with rape crisis workers

sexual assaults

Police from the city respond to a CBC inquiry.

During an appearance before a committee of MLAs on Friday, Charlottetown municipal police defended their record on sex assault investigations and underlined the importance of survivors coming forward.

The committee’s work came after a CBC News investigation last month found women feeling dejected and powerless in the aftermath of sex assaults involving tainted beverages at local pubs, which left victims unable to recollect what had occurred to them.

MLAs were advised by police that media allegations implying a lack of police involvement in sex assaults are deceptive and, in the end, detrimental.

“This message has the potential to be tremendously detrimental to our community by discouraging any victims of crime from reporting,” Watts stated.

“Everyone in this room should be concerned about that… because that message is simply not accurate.”

The woman featured in the CBC piece, as well as two other people who had collected testimony from more than a dozen women, visited with police authorities in June, according to the committee.

 Jennifer McCarron 

Det.-Const. Tara Watts stated, “They had provided documentation of a number of events that were supposed to have happened, many of which were anonymous.”

“The process for starting an inquiry was very clearly described to those persons… that would be the person involved coming in to make a police report.”

Watts explained that while deciding whether to press charges, officers must have more than “a hunch or suspicion” and must rely on “solid facts.”

Sharing files

This year, three people have come forward with allegations of sex assaults employing tainted cocktails, two of whom came forward in October. The three incidents, according to police, are unrelated.

In response to the CBC report’s criticisms, police told committee members on Friday that sex assault files will be shared with the P.E.I. Rape and Sexual Assault Centre “That is something we appreciate. We welcome any oversight that will provide us with direction or methods for dealing with victims “Jennifer McCarron, acting deputy chief, stated.

According to McCarron, the memorandum of understanding with the centre will need security clearance for those who see police information.

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