The Service Standards Investigative Guides are similar to a checklist. They were developed to ensure compliance with approved investigative standards and provide practical advice at all stages of an investigation. Each criminal investigation is unique and many variables must be taken into consideration when developing investigational strategies. These guides will supplement the investigators' knowledge, skills and abilities. They are not designed to replace an investigator’s experience, discretion and common sense. They are also not designed to replace the supervisor’s review and direction on any given investigation.
These guides will:
'E' Division Criminal Operations Branch
This initiative has been in place since 2006.
The British Columbia (BC) Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) established a Detachment Investigative Standards working group. This group recommended the creation of a small guide in the form of a slide chart to assist in the criminal investigation of offences that occur in all communities policed by the RCMP. The focus of this initiative was on improving the effectiveness of investigators and the RCMP in providing and enhancing community safety. These guides support efficient and effective policing services by enhancing oversight of investigations by supervisors. Supervisors use the guide when reviewing investigations to maximize investigative processes and compliance with service standards reflected in the guides.
100 hours and a cost of $3-8 per chart (depending on volume).
The slide charts were handed out to all members as a personal issue item. Those actions in the guide denoted by a red "X" outline the mandatory minimum service standards required in the investigation and reporting of the offence. Those items in the guide denoted by a blue "X" are recommended investigative steps. Although these steps are not mandatory, officers are required to give reasons if the steps are not taken. These reasons must be documented in investigative reports.
The quality and consistency of investigations have been enhanced, ensuring a much more effective policing service throughout BC. The enhanced quality of investigations is supported through greater oversight by supervisors and reviewers who rely on appropriate standards set out in the guides to make investigative decisions.
Prior to the creation of the Service Standards Investigative Guides, one of the biggest challenges faced by RCMP officers was maintaining minimum investigative standards for all criminal investigations. These guides enhance investigative standards.Through the development of these guides, the RCMP recognizes that investigating criminal activity has become much more complicated. These guides are designed to assist even the most experienced investigators in ensuring all avenues of investigation and reporting are covered. These guides are an excellent tool to enhance a new police officer’s understanding of the basic expectations and mandatory minimum service standards required by the RCMP in BC.Ultimately, the enhanced quality of investigations will have a significant impact on community safety.
There is an ongoing evaluation of the use of the guides through the Institute for Canadian Research Studies (ICURS) at Simon Fraser University. The initial findings of this evaluation are that police officers are using the guides for their investigations, and, as they become more experienced, are relying on the standards they have applied from the guides, rather than continually referring to the slides.
This RCMP initiative focused on ensuring that the appropriate investigative standards are applied throughout the province of BC.The enhanced quality of investigations ensures efficient policing services because resources are applied appropriately and effectively to maximize police workload and capacity. Effective investigations in the first instance also ensure public confidence and reduce the financial liability incurred when investigations do not meet the approved standards.