VANCOUVER EASTSIDE MISSING WOMEN

CONTENTS

HOME

GUESTBOOK

1st GUESTBOOK

NEWS UPDATES

CONTACT US

             
                         

Missing Women inquiry must adhere to terms of reference

BY KIM ROSSMO, SPECIAL TO THE SUN  APR 12, 2012

These must be dark days for the members of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry. They have been mired in a series of controversies from the beginning ­— the selection of the commissioner, their level of funding, timelines, group participation, complaints, abdications, anonymous allegations and now a boycott.

The commission has become a special interest soapbox, and those interests often have contradictory expectations that cannot be fulfilled. While one lawyer demanded the inquiry focus on those police investigators involved with the original missing women case, another complained too many witnesses were police officers. Others insisted responsible individuals be punished, but then complained when senior police personnel showed up with legal counsel.

What seems to have been forgotten — or ignored — are the commission’s actual terms of reference: to inquire into and make findings respecting the missing women investigations and the decision to stay attempted murder charges against Pickton, and to recommend changes to investigations of missing women and suspected multiple homicides, and homicide investigations by multiple police agencies.

Like it or not, this is the function of the missing women commission. It does not exist to solve issues of racism, poverty or the sex trade. While these larger social problems are important, and probably deserve their own commissions of inquiry, they are not the purpose of this particularly inquiry.

Complaints, red herrings, conspiracy theories, past grievances and cryptic allegations only undermine the commission’s work and provide a convenient excuse to those in government and policing who do not want to change (remember the senior police officers who testified they would make the same decisions they made in this case in the future).

If people really, truly care about the missing women, and want to try to make sure such a tragedy never happens again, then they need to work with the opportunity the government has provided. Attacking, quitting or boycotting the commission may get you media attention, but it does nothing to help future victims.

Kim Rossmo, a professor of criminology, is a former detective inspector with the Vancouver Police Department.

 

 

Email: wleng#missingpeople.net 

Missing Women Tip Line: 1-877-687-3377

Updated: August 21, 2016