Provincial News

Suspension for Vancouver police officer who released sensitive data about youth

By The Canadian Press

Published 1:46 PDT, Tue August 6, 2019

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in British Columbia says a senior Vancouver police officer has been disciplined for accessing sensitive police information about a young offender.

VANCOUVER — The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner in British Columbia says a senior Vancouver police officer has been disciplined for accessing sensitive police information about a young offender.

A statement from the office says an investigation determined the officer, who is not being named to protect the identity of the youth, also passed the details to unauthorized recipients.

The commissioner says those details included information protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

An independent adjudicator appointed by the commissioner's office issued a judgment July 18, imposing suspensions totalling 15 days.

The ruling followed a review of a decision from the Vancouver Police Department discipline authority.

The adjudicator, an unnamed retired judge, also recommended Vancouver's Chief Constable place a "renewed focus" on training in relation to police databases and disclosure of information by officers.

Police Complaint Commissioner Clayton Pecknold says police are entrusted with sensitive data about British Columbians and must adhere to strict rules about its use and disclosure.

"Where a police officer disregards those rules purposefully, the public must be assured that serious consequences will result and appropriate steps will be taken to prevent recurrence," Pecknold says in a statement.

Pecknold also recommends that all chief constables and police boards in B.C. review the decision to ensure protection of information policies are "robust and current."

The commissioner is a civilian, independent officer of the legislature overseeing complaints, investigations and discipline involving municipal police in the province.

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