The B.C. Civil Liberties Association is applauding the Vancouver Police Departments (VPD) plan to make its Regulations and Procedures Manual available to the public via the VPD website. This move is an important step for the VPD towards greater transparency and accountability. The BCCLA hopes that the VPDs decision to post their manual will provide an important precedent for other forces in Canada.
In 2004, the BCCLA made a request for the manual under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. A year and a half later, the BCCLA received a redacted copy of the manual and has been encouraging the VPD to make it available online to enhance the utility of this disclosure.
Making this manual available online not only eliminates the need for often time consuming requests under the Act, but brings the VPD in line with Section 70(1) of the Act, which requires that manuals, instructions, guidelines, or policies of public bodies be made available to the public without a request under the act.
BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “We have been encouraging the VPD to post the policy manual to their website for some time and in the end we are very pleased they did the right thing.”
The Manual can be found a few clicks away from the VPD homepage at the following web address: www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/police/Planning/RPM/index.htm It can also be found under the link entitled “statistics”.
The BCCLA is in the process of encouraging other police forces to follow the VPDs example.