B.C. is developing new provincial policing standards to eliminate bias

Mike Farnworth

IN response to recommendations from the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, and taking into consideration the findings of other inquiry and review processes across Canada, B.C. is developing new provincial policing standards to promote equality in the delivery of policing services throughout the province.

“Policing must be delivered free from bias and discrimination in every part of our province,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We’re developing new policing standards and guiding principles to reinforce a more inclusive perception of fairness, and strengthen our efforts to promote bias-free policing in B.C. This is key to how our government continues to build a safer province.”

From March 12 to April 16 the Province sought the public’s input on new provincial policing standards to garner a deeper understanding of what types of issues are important to British Columbians, and to ensure police services are delivered in a manner that is fair, equitable and responsive to the needs of vulnerable groups.

More than 200 British Columbians, from a balanced and diverse demographic, participated in the online questionnaire, providing their concerns, recommendations and general support for the concept and themes proposed for the new B.C. Provincial Policing Standards. Written submissions were also received from interested organizations, and can be accessed online: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/unbiasedpolicing/submissions/

Leading up to the public engagement process, the Province met with stakeholders and community organizations to discuss issues related to unbiased policing, and conducted a comprehensive scan of related initiatives and materials from other jurisdictions. This work helped identify concepts that could be addressed in the new guiding principles and themes to promote unbiased policing in B.C.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General will now use the feedback collected through the public and stakeholder engagement process to build on its initial analyses of existing policy and literature, to develop new policing standards and guiding principles that are meaningful, effective and represent a broad spectrum of input from British Columbians.

The new standards will also reflect ongoing consultations that are taking place with police agencies and community organizations.

A summary of the opinions shared in the public engagement can now be found in the Promoting Unbiased Policing in B.C. Public Engagement Process: What We Heard Report, which can be accessed online: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/unbiasedpolicing/