The Canadian Forces Provost Marshal announced on Sept. 27 the establishment of a new 18-member Sexual Offence Response Team. The purpose of this team is to investigate criminal sexual offences throughout the CAF and Department of National Defence (DND).
“Our job as Military Police is to protect the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. The creation of the Sexual Offences Response Team and the increase in personnel to tackle these crimes will enable us to better support victims of sexual misconduct and ensure timely, professional investigations,” stated BGen. Robert Delaney, Canadian Forces Provost Marshal and Commander of the Canadian Forces Military Police Group.
An initiative of Op. Honour, the Sexual Offence Response Team, will be able to better support and protect victims of sexual offences by identifying, investigation and helping to prosecute perpetrators, according to a DND press release.
“The Sexual Offence Response Team adds to the strength of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service and optimizes opportunities to successfully identify, investigate and bring to prosecution those persons responsible for criminal sexual offences in the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces,” said LCol. Francis Bolduc, Commanding Officer, Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
The team is specially trained and is conducting operations in six locations across Canada: Victoria, Edmonton, Borden, Ottawa, Valcartier, and Halifax.
The Sexual Offence Response Team will be able to provide Canadian Forces National Investigation Service with expertise on historical investigative techniques, new trends in law enforcement surrounding sexually based offences; and best practices to investigate sexual offences.
The team is also especially trained in investigating sexual assault; physical abuse and child death; investigating offences against children; investigative and forensic interviewing techniques; and trauma informed care training.
It is noted that Frontline Military Police still play a crucial role in the investigative process for sexual assault complaints.
“Military Police often interact with victims as they attempt to deal with their trauma. The first and primary task in those situations is to support and protect victims,” stated a DND press release.