News release

Council Supports Dismissal of RCMP Constable

The decision by an RCMP discipline adjudication board to dismiss a constable who assaulted his common-law wife is being praised by the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

"This is a sound decision that is well-justified," said Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, council chair. "We are very pleased the adjudication board agrees that police officers must be held to a high standard of conduct and that domestic violence is intolerable conduct for a member of the RCMP. Women can be reassured that spousal assault is indeed taken seriously by the RCMP."

Although the board refused to hear expert testimony from Ms. Doyle-Bedwell on domestic violence, this is one of the first times in Canada that an RCMP adjudication board had even been asked to hear expert testimony from the community on domestic violence.

Ms. Doyle-Bedwell said the decision to dismiss sends a clear message to all police officers across Canada --in the RCMP and in municipal police forces --that because their job is to keep the peace and protect the people, spousal assault is unacceptable conduct.

"It restores for women trust and confidence in the RCMP," she said. "If you're being beaten by your husband or boyfriend, you know you can call the RCMP without fear of this officer, or any other officer who beats his wife, responding to that call."

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Contact:

Chris Hansen
Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women 902-424-4190 Cell: 902-478-8762 E-mail:
arc                       May 20, 1999                 2:27 p.m.