Source: (2005) Master of Arts in Leadership and Training, Royal Roads University

The landscape of British Columbia’s municipal policing began to change the moment that The Honorable Mr. Justice Wallace Oppal’s report Closing the Gap was published in 1994. The report produced over 300 recommendations for police service delivery, many focusing on finding more effective methods for resolving citizen’s complaints. This research project examined the informal resolution of citizen’s complaints and whether the philosophy of restorative justice could be utilized. The literature review examined police accountability, police culture, informal resolutions and restorative justice. The action research aspects included a focus group of complaint investigators together with a questionnaire. Six interviews were then conducted with individuals significantly connected to the police complaint system. The data gathered was analysed, themed, and conclusions drawn. Seven recommendations were made focusing on improving the informal resolution of citizen’s complaints together with a further examination of the value of introducing mediation and restorative conferencing within the resolution process.