A coroner’s inquest jury has issued 12 recommendations aimed at preventing the police-involved deaths of those suffering an acute mental-health event.
The recommendations focus on police response for those in mental health crises, as well as expanding support for youth transitioning out of government care.
The jury was reviewing the death of Mr. Rhett Patrick Victor Mutch. Mr. Mutch, aged 20, of Victoria, was shot by Victoria Police who responded to a 911 call from his mother’s home on Nov. 1, 2014.
The jury found that Mr. Mutch died as a result of a gunshot wound to the neck, and classified the death as suicide.
Inquests are called to determine the facts surrounding a death. Juries may not find fault or blame but may make recommendations aimed at preventing future deaths in similar circumstances.
To the Ministry of Health:
1. To provide adequate funding to the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response team program to be able to provide services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
To the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General:
2. To ensure that online retraining for Crisis Intervention De-escalation is refreshed with new and relevant scenarios every 2 years.
3. To consider a worn (bodycam style) automatic audio and/or audio visual (gps and timestamp) device to assist and supplement the review of radio and/or cell phone records of events.
To the Ministry of Children and Familiy Development:
4. To have fully supported transition (Multi-discipinary/Collaborative) plans from child, to youth, to young adult, to 19 plus.
5. To ensure the Young Adult Program adds a Life Skill Options component to its program with an option to renew every three months up to age 25.
6. To maintain continuation of same support workers as a child ages.
To the South Island Police Departments:
7. All members to be made aware of and encouraged to participate in care services after a critical incident.
To Prime BC and Integrated Mobile Crisis Response Team:
8. That an MOU be entered into by both agencies so a record of attendance at a residence, and /or complainant, by the Integrated Mobile Crisis Response team is noted and “Flagged” in Prime.
To Police Chiefs of Southern Vancouver Island and the Vancouver Island Health Authority (Island Health):
9. To require that after a defined number of multiple crises calls to police from a single source are received, the following will occur (a) an early intervention from appropriate Ministries is initiated and (b) a collaborative safety plan is created.
To the Independent Investigations office and the BC Association of Police Chiefs:
10. Consider amending the MOU between the agencies to ensure that police officers can debrief in a timely manner.
To Prime BC and the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development:
11. To enter into an MOU to provide access to information between all three agencies.
To the Legal Aid Society of BC:
12. To provide a fee category for legal representation at a Coroners Inquest for the family of the deceased person.