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Complaints about several Manitoba municipal police forces decline: report


WINNIPEG – A new report shows there was a decline in the number of formal complaints filed last year by Manitobans against 11 municipal police departments in the province.

The annual report from the Law Enforcement Review Agency, released Wednesday, says 109 complaints about police conduct were filed in 2017 – down from 122 the year before.

The majority – 86 per cent – were directed at Winnipeg police, while their counterparts in Brandon accounted for 4.5 per cent.

The most common complaint dealt with unnecessary violence and excessive force, while being discourteous or uncivil came second.

There were 44 incidents involving allegations of injuries caused by use of force, which was down from 60 in 2016.

The agency’s jurisdiction does not include the RCMP and it does not investigate criminal or service issues.

The annual report shows there were no complaints about the misuse of pepper spray or Tasers, but there were four incidents in which officers were accused of misusing handcuffs.

Overall, 67 per cent of the complaints were made by males while 32 per cent came from females. In one per cent of cases the gender of the complainant is unknown.

The oldest complainant in 2017 was 78 and the youngest was 14, with the average age around 37.

Agency commissioner Max Churley said in a release that the average time for police investigations decreased from nine months in 2016 to eight months in 2017.

Copyright (c) 2018 The Canadian Press