Findings from a ‘Breid Review of the White Rock RCMP’s Street Checks’ from Jan. 1, 2018 to June 20, 2020. (White Rock RCMP graph)

White Rock RCMP reviews street checks for racial bias

Report indicates checks are being conducted bias-free

After RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that systemic racism exists in the national policing organization, White Rock RCMP detachment began a review of its policies and street checks to look for indication of racial bias.

Staff-Sgt. Kale Pauls said he undertook the review, in part, because Trudeau and Lucki did not provide practical examples or rational to support the conclusion of today’s RCMP.

“And I’m not referring to the past because I think history has told us there are systemic issues in many government departments,” Pauls said. “I wanted to be proactive and look at our street checks and see if there’s any indication of systemic issues, racial bias or unconscious bias.”

SEE ALSO: History of systemic racism between RCMp and First Nations must be addressed: B.C. chief

The ‘Brief Review of the White Rock RCMP’s Street Checks’ report, prepared for council and White Rock residents, reviewed street checks from Jan. 1, 2018 to June 20, 2020.

During that time, there were 469 street checks in the city.

The review reported that 82 per cent of the individuals checked were Caucasian, six per cent were South Asian, five per cent were Indigenous, two per cent were Asian, two per cent were Black, one per cent were Middle Eastern, one per cent were Hispanic and one per cent were unknown.

The report notes that the 2016 demographics for White Rock indicate that 16.4% of the population are visible minorities.

However, approximately 70 per cent of the street checks were conducted on people that lived outside of White Rock. Of the 70 per cent, 69 per cent were residents of Surrey, which has a visible minority population of about 58 per cent, according to 2016 census data.

“The conclusions from that is that our street checks indicate they’re being done in a bias-free way,” Pauls said.

A street check is a police interaction that serves a policing purpose, such as inquiring into suspicious behaviour, checking known offenders, and checking high risk people. Checks cannot be random or arbitrary. Street checks are voluntary, there’s no authority to search, and there’s no detention involved.

The report included a number of examples of street checks made in White Rock, including a person looking into a business window at 3 a.m., and a known property offender riding a bike without a helmet and full backpack at 7 a.m.

SEE ALSO: Singh calls on Trudeau to address systemic racism in police forces

Street checks do not account for incidents where a police interaction results in a criminal or other offence.

The second phase of the project is to review policies surrounding prisoner treatment in White Rock. Pauls said that part of that review will include members from the Indigenous and South Asian communities.

“So that they can look, with their lens, and see if there’s anything in this policy that is discriminatory or isn’t culturally aware to that specific culture,” Pauls said.

On a provincial level, RCMP E Division Staff-Sgt. Janelle Shoihet told Peace Arch News via email that the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP has initiated a review into the RCMP’s street check policies and procedures.

She said the BC RCMP is in the process of developing new policy to align with the BC Provincial Policing Standards, which were instituted in January of this year. The new policy will apply to all BC RCMP police officers.

The policing standards policy regarding ‘police stops’ outline police obligations when interacting with the public, including procedures to safeguard rights during police interactions.

The provincial policing standards for police stops can be found here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey council sets new rules for Good Citizen of the Year award

Candidates have more hurdles to jump before getting nominated for the prestigious local title

White Rock funds cultural activities moved online by COVID-19

Museum, community orchestra receive production grants

EXPLORE SURREY: Tee up some adventures in the city

Also: A walk through Surrey’s public art collection

‘Best of Cloverdale’ contest returns

Voters can cast ballots once a day until Sept. 5; enter to win $250 gift card for Save-On-Foods

In honour of player killed in crash, Surrey soccer team becomes BB5 United

Brandon Bassi died a few months before CCB won the national title last fall

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Friends do ‘amazing’ home makeover for retired police officer

Pitt Meadows RCMP veteran was away getting treatment for PTSD

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Pitt Meadows woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

UPDATE: Two dead after fishing boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

VIDEO: B.C. community rallies to save snared eagle

Revelstoke climber scales tree to save the raptor

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Most Read