RCMP brass say allegations tarnish agency's image
Published Thursday, January 28, 2010 10:26PM PST
Top brass from the British Columbia RCMP say news that two investigators on the Surrey Six slayings are in hot water with the law is a black eye for their organization.
“To hear it happen with one of our people in a case of this critical magnitude was disappointing, upsetting,” RCMP Assistant Commissioner Al MacIntyre told CTV News.
On Thursday, Mounties announced a five-year member of the RCMP assigned to the Surrey Six murder investigation was charged with fraud in connection with two overtime claims he submitted in July and August 2009
The revelation comes the same week that the force acknowledged that it is investigating another officer who allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a witness in the Surrey Six slayings – B.C.’s worst gang-related murders in history.
RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German said he didn’t believe the alleged fraud involved a lot of money, but the dollar amount comes secondary to the fact it happened at all.
“Whether it’s $100 or $1,000 it’s the principle. We can't have police officers -- no organization -- have people cheating on their overtime or on their taxes.”
The officer in question, Const. Steve Perrault, was assigned to the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team as part of the Surrey Six investigation in late 2008, officials said. He has been placed on administrative duties.
Perrault has been charged with one count of fraud and one count of attempted fraud.
Senior member Sgt. Derek Brassington is accused of having an affair with a witness who is allegedly the former girlfriend of several gangsters.
“These are not good stories. There’s no two ways about it,” MacIntyre said.
He admits too many incidents have damaged the RCMP’s image.
“All that great work that goes on gets overshadowed by actions of one or two. We’re sad about it and very frustrated about it but we have to deal with it and move forward.”
The RCMP's contract to provide municipal policing in B.C. is up for renewal in two years. MacIntyre says keeping the public’s trust is essential.
“If we don't have the public trust we're in deep trouble. So maintaining that public trust and recovering it where it’s lost is critically important.”
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Renu Bakshi