MPCC-2014-020

In this complaint, the Local Criminal Intelligence Coordinator (LCIC) at a Canadian Forces base alleged that a superior in his local Military Police (MP) detachment chain of command improperly interfered in his handling of a criminal intelligence investigation regarding a possible criminal organization comprised of current and former CF members operating in the area. The complainant MP alleged that his MP superior improperly interfered by: 1) modifying the electronic Security and Military Police Information System file created by the complainant, without proper authority; and 2) directing the complainant to “stand down” his investigation.

The complainant, as the LCIC on the base, fell under two distinct chains of command. As a member of the MP detachment’s investigations section, he fell under the command of the MP detachment chain of command, which included the subject MP superior. As the LCIC per se, the complainant was also under the command, or at least the “tactical control”, of the chain of command for the MP Criminal Intelligence Program, which is ultimately under the command of the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.

Through its investigation, the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) determined that the subject MP sergeant did, in fact, modify the electronic criminal intelligence investigation file created by the complainant by deleting various information, and that, as it was a criminal intelligence file rather than a regular MP investigation file, he did not have proper authority to do this. However, the MPCC found that this was not improper interference as the subject reasonably assumed that the file in question was a regular MP investigation file – which he would have had the authority to modify – rather than a criminal intelligence investigation file. Moreover, there was no apparent intention to suppress the information as it was already captured in another related file.

The MPCC also determined that, while the subject MP sergeant did tell the complainant LCIC to “stand down” his investigation, this was a legitimate exercise of the subject’s operational command over the LCIC and was a response to important concerns about the complainant’s work in the matter of the possible criminal organization, which had been brought to the subject’s attention by a criminal intelligence officer for a civilian police service working in the area.

As a result, the MPCC found that this interference complaint was not substantiated. Noting an apparent lack of adequate communication between the MP detachment and the MP Criminal Intelligence Program (MPCIP) chain of command, the MPCC recommended that the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal take appropriate steps to remind these two groups of the importance of coordination at all levels of their respective chains of command, in accordance with applicable MP orders regarding the operation of the MPCIP.

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