File a Complaint Against Special Provincial Constables
With the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
There is a process for filing complaints against Special Provincial Constables. In BC, most special provincial constables are also police officers, so it is better to file a complaint with either the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP or the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. SPCA officers are typically the only SPCs in BC that are not also police officers.
The process of filing a complaint against SPCA officers is discussed below in two parts, the first to help you prepare your complaint, and the second to help you submit your complaint.
Write everything down
As soon as possible, write down a detailed and complete account of the events relevant to the complaint. Memory fades quickly. You can use this information to draft your complaint. If there are witnesses, have them do the same. Should your complaint be investigated you cannot rely on the investigator to question you or your witnesses.
Secure your evidence
If you plan on contacting witnesses or making access to information requests it is a good idea to start right away. Access to information requests can face considerable delay. In addition to any other relevant documents, if your complaint is about a direct encounter with SPCA officers, we recommend you request any reports and officers' notes from the incident.
Make copies and keep originals
It is good practice to always keep a copy of any part of your complaint submission. Most importantly, do not submit original documents as documents are often not returned.
Make sure your complaint is comprehensive
Although it is best to be concise, there is no maximum length for a complaint. Be sure to include all relevant information including:
- a clear, organised and detailed account of your interaction with SPCA officers
- the date, time, and location of the incident
- any information that identifies the SPCA officers (e.g. name, number). If unknown, submit a physical description and any other identifying information
- statements of witnesses, their names, and their contact information
- if you underwent medical examination or treatment, the names of medical professionals and their contact information
- copies of any photographs or reports detailing injuries or damages
- any other information that supports your complaint
Make clear the outcome you want
Clearly state your concerns about the conduct or policy you are complaining about and the response you would like taken. If you are unsure, you may ask for “a full and reasonable response”. Common requests include:
- an apology from the SPCA officer
- an explanation for a policy, level of service, or conduct
- changes to a policy or level of service
- counselling or training for the officers involved
- disciplinary action: reprimand, suspension, demotion or dismissal
- criminal charges
Sign your complaint and provide your contact information
Sign and date your letter of complaint, and be sure to include your name, address, telephone number and any other contact information.
If you do decide to make a complaint to the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, follow the guidelines above to draft a letter of complaint. Remember to keep copies and do not send originals.
Submit your complaint by fax or mail to the agency where the SPC is employed or the Director of Police Services at the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General .
Policing and Security Programs Branch
PO BOX 9285 Stn Prov Govt
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the Director of Police Services you may seek judicial review in the BC Supreme Court.
>> How to file for Judicial Review in BC Supreme Court >>