Letter: Police Act circumscribes what police complaint commissioner can say
I have read numerous articles and letters to the editor submitted by Mr. Greg Klein in which he criticizes the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and in particular the Commissioner Stan Lowe and myself. Although he is often inaccurate or bases his comments on speculation, I do not respond.
However in a recent article ["Citizen files complaint to law society about Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe", web-only], Charlie Smith repeats allegations in relation to how this office handled the complaint of Sandy Davidsen. In particular Mr. Klein alleges that we did not reveal to the public that the incident had occurred and that we should have.
The Commissioner recently ordered a public hearing into the matter, in particular to look into why the police did not notify this office of the pushing incident and instead undertook some type of informal resolution process that is outside of the Police Act. Commissioner Lowe make it clear in his Notice of Public Hearing that he was concerned about how this matter was handled by the police.
I also need to remind you that as per section 51.01 of the B.C. Police Act we are barred from publicly reporting any complaint or even confirming that a complaint has been received. I have only commented publicly on the process or in response to aspects of the complaint that were already in the public domain.
It is extremely unfair for your newspaper to write these stories without even having the consideration to ask us for a comment. I have been cooperative with your reporters and writers when they have contacted me to comment on a story but for some reason I have never been asked to comment on any of the articles involving this matter.
I would encourage you to read the Commissioner’s Notice of Public Hearing that is on our website in relation to the Sandy Davidsen matter as this is the first time in the process that we have been able to speak publicly about how this matter was mishandled by the police. You should also familiarize yourself with our role under the Police Act as our jurisdiction is quite limited to providing oversight and not conducting investigations.
> Rollie Woods / Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner, Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner