Author Archives: Rob Wipond

Cancelled: Opportunity to Intervene in OIPC Inquiry about Police Chief Association Records

Update June 2015: For reasons I do not fully understand, the OIPC suddenly did an about-face and refused to allow any intervenors in this inquiry discussed below, and then later did an about-face again and did allow a few selected intervenors. The process is now closed and awaiting final adjudication. I leave the rest of the post for informational purposes about this process, and will update on the next steps I intend to take.

I requested copies of the minutes of meetings of the BC Association of Chiefs of Police and BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police from four municipal police departments, because the Associations themselves refused to provide any records. These records were heavily redacted using exemptions reserved for public law enforcement agencies under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act — this, even though the two Associations are simply private groups and should neither be in possession of confidential police information nor be permitted to use legal exemptions reserved for public law enforcement agencies. For more background on this, please read my articles on the topic. An inquiry will soon be in process before the BC Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, to determine whether the redactions in the records are legal.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner recently recommended that the Associations be declared to be public bodies, but the provincial government has yet to act on that recommendation; therefore, I believe this inquiry and the resulting decision could establish a very important precedent in public access to information about policing and police governance in the province of British Columbia. If you are interested in providing input into the inquiry, all of the relevant records are provided below and my articles provide insights into the stakes involved. Simply contact Tim Mots at the OIPC (tmots (at) oipc.bc.ca) as far ahead of February 3rd, 2015 as you can, and request intervener status on the OIPC Inquiry File F13-55713.

Below are the two record releases which are the subject of the upcoming inquiry before the OIPC:

All records pertaining to the BCAMCP in the custody of the Victoria, Saanich, Central Saanich, and West Vancouver police departments.

All records pertaining to the BCACP in the custody of the Victoria, Saanich, Central Saanich, and West Vancouver police departments.

Here is the list of pages from the above documents that will be the subject of the inquiry: F13-55713 FR Appendix A – Docs List. I chose a relatively small number of pages that highlight key issues of concern. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss that further.

Below are supplemental records that were released later. These contain unredacted versions of selected pages from the above documents. They are not involved in the inquiry, but may provide additional context useful for understanding some of the redacted content in the main documents above.

Records pertaining to the BCACP and BCAMCP from the past two years in the custody of the BC Ministry of Justice, which were generated by the BC government.

BCACP BC Govt consult – released records 2

BCAMCP records – release #2 – rcmp, VPD & Worksafe

BCACP – released records #3(consult with VPD)

BCAMCP records – release #3 – BC Govt (2)_Part1

BCAMCP records – release #3 – BC Govt (2)_Part2

Research Suggests That Psychiatric Interventions Like Admission to a Mental Facility Could Increase Suicide Risk

A major study identifying the highest risk factors for suicide we’ve ever found has been barely discussed.

(This article was published by AlterNet on October 23, 2014. I am republishing it here in full with some of the links to references included for those who are interested.)

One of the most provocative studies of suicide ever done was published in the September edition of the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. It appeared shortly after Robin Williams’ suicide, and shortly before the World Health Organization’s World Suicide Prevention Day. Both of those events received widespread media attention, but this study was not reported by any media that I’ve seen, except relatively obscurely by me in my role as news editor for the online science and psychiatry community Mad In America.

The study looked at a broad population and identified some closely related, easily modifiable factors in people’s lives that were linked to being 6 times, 28 times, and even 44 times more likely to commit suicide. Continue reading

A More Moral Policy

Victoria Police change policies on Mental Health Act arrests.

When arrested under the Mental Health Act, people will now be advised of their rights and allowed to make telephone calls “if reasonable and safe to do so,” according to new Victoria Police Department policies. Police will also leave written reports at the psychiatric hospital.

The changes came about after complaints by Gordon Stewart and Vince Geisler, and an article in Focus (see “An Overabundance of Caution,” December 2013).  Read the rest at Focusonline.

 

Upcoming Speaking Events on Children, Youth, Mental Health, Surveillance and Privacy

I’ll be on the last panel of the day at the BC Information Summit in Burnaby, BC on Friday, September 19, 2014. Click here for more information.

I’ll also be speaking alongside Micheal Vonn of the BC Civil Liberties Association at the Vancouver Unitarian Church on Sunday, September 28, 2014. Click here for more info on that.

The Algorithmic Managing of ‘At-risk’ Children

headlines-all6Experts point to mounting evidence that scientifically dubious mental health screening programs are just one part of an international governance shift towards creating all-pervasive surveillance systems for diagnosing ‘pre-crime’ and managing ‘at-risk’ children and youth. And not only is this not helping kids, critics argue, it’s demonstrably harming them.

Part two of a Mad In America investigation into the expansion of psychological screening and electronic surveillance of children and youth. Read it here.

Or read part one.