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)

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 Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

Music therapist Felicia Wall in the music room at Phoenix Society in Surrey. (submitted photo)
Eclectic album showcases songs recorded by Surrey residents in recovery

Project at Phoenix Society took about six months to complete, with help of music therapist

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Most Read