Conduct Case MPCC‑2017‑029 Summary

The Complainant, a Canadian Forces (CF) member, faced assault allegation and was arrested by the members of the military police (MP) at a Canadian Forces base in February 2016. The MP report was mistakenly sent to the Complainant’s brother’s unit instead of the Complainant’s. The MP re-opened the case and alleged that the Complainant committed identity fraud by using his brother’s identification to mislead the MP at the time of his arrest. The drunkenness and identity fraud charges were later withdrawn by the military prosecutor. In his conduct complaint, the Complainant claims that the charges of drunkenness and identity fraud were unfounded and caused him significant prejudice.

The Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) substantiated the Complainant’s claims about the identity fraud charge. The MPCC found there was no evidence to support the recommended charge of identity fraud against the Complainant. With respect to the Complainant’s claims about the drunkenness charge, the MPCC found that it was reasonable, in the circumstances, for the MP members to conclude, on a balance of probabilities, that the Complainant was intoxicated on the night of his arrest.

The MPCC also concluded that the MP members did not fail to advise the Complainant of the charges against him. The subject MP members in this case had no authority to lay charges for offences under the National Defence Act (NDA) at the time. Therefore, they had no obligation to inform the Complainant of charges against him. The evidence indicates that the arresting subject MP informed the Complainant at the time of the arrest of the general reasons for his arrest. The MP then submitted their findings to the Complainant’s unit Commanding Officer (CO) for action, including charges, as deemed appropriate.

The MPCC found that MP members partially failed to provide the MP report to the Complainant’s unit in a timely manner. The Complainant stated that his unit only received the MP report in November 2016, nine months after his arrest. The MPCC notes that two reports were generated and distributed, a Military Police Investigation Report (MPIR) and the complete MP report. Based on the evidence, full disclosure of the file was not provided to the Office of the Judge Advocate General in a timely manner, considering the initial report (MPIR), did not contain sufficient information to facilitate the Complainant’s unit CO in laying charges under the NDA.

The MPCC made six recommendations to the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) to address the issues identified in its investigation:

The CFPM accepted the recommendation that the subject MP members review the CF MP Orders pertaining to the operation of the MVRS, note-taking and note-taking procedures, including the recommendation that they be reminded of existing guidance in CF MP Orders and policies about seeking legal advice and that all MP members be encouraged to consult with regional military prosecutors prior to laying charges. The CFPM partially accepted the recommendation that MP detachments be reminded of the importance of ensuring that MVRS are in proper working order, and that shift supervisors annotate the MVRS condition in the daily inspection report, including the recommendation regarding official languages. The CFPM did not accept the recommendation to provide MP members with enhanced step-by-step training on subject identification and verification, as well as clearer guidance on how to identify subjects, particularly those who are intoxicated.

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