The Yukon's Policing Priorities

  1. 2021–22 Policing Priorities
  2. 2020–21 Policing Priorities

The Minister of Justice identifies policing priorities for the Yukon RCMP on a yearly basis.  These are based on the work provided by the Yukon Police Council and the Department of Justice.

  1. 2021–22 Policing Priorities

    1.  Increase public trust

    The Yukon RCMP must make additional efforts to provide consistent levels of service to victims of crime, no matter the severity of the crime, to ensure victims feel their concerns are heard.  

    In addition, primary objectives to increase trust include the following. 

    • Adopting system-wide and measurable strategies to improve relations with youth; Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour (BIPOC); vulnerable populations; and LGBTQ2S+ demographics. 
    • Building trust through meaningful and respectful interactions between the RCMP and the public. These interactions must include responding to all crimes, regardless of their perceived severity, and conducting proactive outreach patrols in a manner that is meaningful and effective within Yukon communities. 
    • Members receiving training in trauma informed practices and utilize these skills to approach policing with kindness and empathy.
    • Members working to identify their personal biases and to acknowledge the power and privilege inherent to their position to ensure each interaction with the public is compassionate, respectful and culturally sensitive/competent.
    • Building diversity within the RCMP to ensure that the territorial police service is more representative of the populations served. This includes not only recruitment of Indigenous, women, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and members that self-identify as BIPOC, but also a commitment to maintaining a workplace that is healthy and supportive to all members. Members must be assisted to access mental wellness services as an essential component of self-care.  

    2. Build on previous successes through increased policing efforts targeted at the opioid and hard drug crisis, as well as responses to serious and organized crime

    To continue successes achieved in 2020, the RCMP must maintain their efforts to collaborate with health care partners to increase the safety of Yukoners. Ongoing efforts must include prevention programs that focus on reaching children and youth. Targeted prevention programs funded by the Government of Yukon helped to decrease the Yukon’s youth crime rate by 30 per cent in 2019, as reported in Statistics Canada’s 2019 report on crime rates.  

    The primary objectives to support this recommendation include the following. 

    • Continuing investigations, through the Historical Case Unit, that demonstrate progress towards solving historical homicides and missing person’s cases within the Yukon. 
    • Ensuring ongoing training is available to members to support effective and timely criminal investigations.
    • Recognizing that drugs and gang related crimes contribute to a number of other criminal activities that concern Yukon citizens.  
    • Working to increase communications to the public through available channels such as social media.  

    3. Engage with and support children and youth

    There is a need to engage young people in a positive, formative manner, before they become justice involved. Children and youth in the Yukon require exposure to consistent, positive policing experiences to develop meaningful and respectful relationships with law enforcement. Stakeholders have reported that the termination of the youth liaison role has had a negative impact on the youth population. Until this liaison is re-established and normalized, there will be missed opportunities within the youth demographic that have far-reaching effects, potentially increasing costs to the Yukon in both the justice and health care systems. 

    Primary objectives to engage young people include the following. 

    • Building trusting relationships with children and youth, through consistent, proactive engagement in collaboration with community partners, to prevent, deter or divert youth involvement with drugs and organized crime.
    • Partnering with inter-agency stakeholders to prevent, investigate, and respond to instances of youth exploitation, youth-sexualized assault and cyberbullying.
    • Enhancing community-policing initiatives, local engagement activities and youth-focused programming that aligns with each community’s cultural needs. This must include identifying a dedicated liaison program.  

    4. Strengthen relationships with First Nations, including Elders and youth

    While the efforts towards engagement and reconciliation with First Nations have been ongoing, there remains a need for continued attention in order to foster relationships for the future.  

    Primary objectives to build on relationships with First Nations include the following. 

    • Participating in the development and implementation of local Letters of Expectation through the First Nations Policing Program that align with the accountability provisions of the Community Tripartite Agreements.
    • Providing community-specific orientations as well as broad training related to the historical experiences of the Yukon’s First Nations through proactive engagement with local First Nations.
    • Ensuring that members integrate with host communities through positive personal interactions and respectful communication with children, youth, Elders and community leaders.
    • Collaborating with First Nations Community Safety Officers to build effective relationships and trust within host communities. 
    • Exploring options to keep members in communities for longer periods of time so there are improved opportunities to invest in trusting relationships that offer additional consistency to communities, upon agreement by both the member and community.  

    5. Collaborate with community and justice partners to maximize the use of Restorative Justice

    As the Government of Yukon coordinates the territory’s approach to offering restorative justice services, it is imperative that these services are available to those who are eligible. Recommendations regarding the need for restorative justice practices are not new and the RCMP remain essential partners in the advancement of restorative justice initiatives within the Yukon.  

    The primary objectives include the following.

    • Actively engaging in and supporting community-led safety initiatives. 
    • Ensuring the implementation of pre and post-charge diversion processes in all communities and that appropriate matters are diverted with the necessary support and follow-up.
    • Proactively engaging with First Nations Community Justice workers, Government of Yukon’s restorative justice program and community programs to collaborate in community-led restorative justice initiatives.
    • Working towards the Government of Yukon’s commitment to increasing the use of restorative justice by five per cent.
    • Providing of statistical data on restorative justice practices by community as well as a report on RCMP involvement in each process.  

    6. Enhance prevention, investigation and enforcement activities related to violence against women, girls and the LGBTQ2S+ population

    This final priority is arguably the most vital in the year to come and will require significant investments from the RCMP. Rates of sexualized assaults in the Yukon are unacceptably high. It is imperative that the RCMP continue to focus efforts towards decreasing all violence against women, girls and members of the LGBTQ2S+ population as well as sexualized violence that affects all populations. Investigations must be timely, sensitive and effective to manage reporting requirements, to ensure all cases are pursued and victims are supported. In light of the termination of the Yukon Advocate Case Review, enhanced efforts to collaborate with women’s advocacy groups regarding sexualized violence in the Yukon must be made.  

    The primary objectives identified to realize this priority include the following.

    • Implementing the Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ People Strategy in a meaningful way, particularly as it relates to Section 2 - Community Safety & Justice subsections 2.1; 2.2; 2.5; and 2.6, and Section 4 - Community Action & Accountability, subsections 4.1; 4.2; 4.6 and 4.7.
    • Collaborating and liaising with prosecutors and other support agencies to ensure that the RCMP’s investigative approach aligns with the justice system requirements so that prosecutions are successful, transparent, timely, effective and conclusive.
    • Developing internal policies that includes a focused training schedule for the Specialized Response Unit (SRU).
    • The SRU has the responsibility to guide all sexualized assault files, not simply those considered internally to be complex in nature. Designated investigators and the SRU must work collaboratively with all partner and stakeholder agencies to address sexualized violence and with First Nations and communities by securing safe spaces within each community to interview victims. 
    • As recommended in section 2.2 of the MMIWG2S+ Strategy, participating in a third party evaluation of the status of implementation of recommendations of the Sharing Common Ground – Yukon’s Police Force Review (2010). The results must be made available to the public.  

  2. 2020–21 Policing Priorities

    1. Improve engagement to increase public trust

    The primary objectives for this priority include:

    • Trust – so that RCMP members are visible and approachable to the public.
    • Proactive engagement – so that RCMP members commit to outreach, interactions with partner agencies, and collaboration with First Nations resulting in meaningful engagements that are focused on the needs of all Yukoners.
    • Response – so RCMP members are able to contribute to a trauma-informed focus that supports unbiased, respectful and culturally sensitive police response.
    • Wellness – since police are exposed to some of the most challenging and traumatic events in the course of their work, the RCMP must advance self-care, mental health and member wellness strategies as being essential for all members of the RCMP.
    • Public awareness – the RCMP must contribute to public education related to individual rights and responsibilities when interacting with the RCMP. This will help to promote safety and comfort during RCMP interactions. Education sessions should include information on how to make an effective complaint and how to offer comments about RCMP conduct.

    2. Strengthen supports for vulnerable persons and victims of violence, and continue the implementation of SART services

    The primary objectives for this priority include:

    • Continuing to implement the Government of Yukon’s Sexualized Assault Response Team (SART) in Yukon communities, including training for front line RCMP members who are investigating sexualized assault.
    • Strengthening the Yukon’s existing support network for vulnerable persons through increased coordination and cooperation with relevant government departments and non-government organizations. Possibly implementing a case management or situation table approach (in the spirit of FOCUS, the Forum for Collaboration and United Services) as a tool to this end.
    • Engaging with youth and working collaboratively with partners to recognize and increase support for children and youth who may be vulnerable to violence, child exploitation, or the influence of organized crime.
    • Fostering recognition within the RCMP that a consistent culture of compassionate and trauma-informed interaction with vulnerable persons and victims is necessary to address the undercurrents of fear and mistrust related to the RCMP.

    3. Foster meaningful relationships with First Nations, including Elders, and throughout the communities

    The primary objectives for this priority include:

    • Strengthening lines of communication between First Nations, community members and the RCMP to ensure that the delivery of policing services is professional, dedicated and responsive to the needs, traditions and cultures of Yukon First Nations.
    • Engaging partner First Nations to develop meaningful policing priorities for each community participating in the First Nations Policing Program.
    • Including First Nations in the screening processes for RCMP members who are going to communities, and ensuring that new police officers receive a community orientation delivered in collaboration with First Nations, community leaders and other local stakeholders.
    • Supporting RCMP members in all detachments to contribute to community safety planning processes undertaken by their communities.
    • Refining the RCMP’s role to help maintain healthy, safe communities; alongside other community supports such as the auxiliary policing program, community safety officers, community safety guards, and the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods unit (SCAN).

    4. Continue enforcement efforts to combat serious, drug-related, and organized crime

    The primary objectives related to this priority include:

    • Enhancing the response to, and investigations of, violent crime.
    • Enhancing the response to, and investigations of, territorial crime connected with the drug trade and/or criminal groups.
    • Collaborating with other agencies such as the City of Whitehorse Bylaw Services, the Government of Yukon’s SCAN Unit, and First Nations Community Safety Officer programs to develop proactive approaches that combat organized crime.

    5. Increase the use of restorative justice practices in the Yukon

    • Ensuring that we explore options for pre-charge diversion in all communities, and that the RCMP consider diversion whenever appropriate community supports are in place.
    • Engaging with First Nations Community Justice workers proactively, in a manner that enables them to collaborate in community-led restorative justice initiatives.
    • Working towards the Government of Yukon’s commitment to increasing the use of restorative justice practices by five per cent.