Ministry of Justice

Independent Investigation Office

The Independent Investigation Office (IIO) was established to conduct criminal investigations regarding police-related incidents involving death or serious harm. For more information, please visit the IIO website.

The office is led by a civilian who has never served as a police officer. The chief civilian director position is a five-year, order-in-council appointment. The director's responsibilities are outlined in the Police (Independent Investigations Office) Amendment Act, 2011. The bill amends the Police Act.

Quick Facts:

  • The IIO was established under amendments to B.C.’s Police Act that came into force July 2011 (see ministry news release).
  • The IIO become officially operational on Sept. 10, 2012.
  • B.C. police agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IIO on July 16, 2012. The MOU addresses all aspects of investigations including notification to the IIO, scene security, designation of subject and witness officers and concurrent investigations.  (see news release)
  • The most severe consequence for an officer as a result of an IIO investigation is a criminal charge or charges.
  • To ensure there is no perception of bias, the chief civilian director cannot be a person who is a current or former member of a police force.
  • The director has the discretion to hire ex-police officers as investigators, as long as they have not served as police officers in B.C. within the past five years.
  • The IIO conducts criminal investigations regarding police-related incidents that result death or serious harm.
  • In comparison, the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner (OPCC), an independent office of the legislature, examines conduct issues in municipal police departments, but does not have a mandate to engage in criminal investigations.
  • Conduct issues involving RCMP are dealt with by the federal Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
  • The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner has the jurisdiction to investigate incidents or complaints that involve investigative staff from the IIO.