News release from Kamloops RCMP today (May 25, 2021):
The Kamloops RCMP Detachment has become aware of reports circulating in the media pertaining to its recent response to a call for service at the Cobia Salon on the 1300-block of Summit Drive.
On May 19, at approximately 5:12 p.m., Kamloops RCMP received a call for service reporting a “disturbance” and requesting “police in the area” at a salon on the 1300-block of Summit Drive. The information relayed to frontline officers involved a woman who had allegedly put items into her bag, got upset, threw them, and was walking away from the business. The time delay in reporting was five minutes.
Due to priority calls, based on what was reported and the fact that the accused had already left and no one was injured, police were not dispatched to the call until much later, as they were dealing with other higher priority calls. By the time a frontline officer was dispatched to the report, the salon was unfortunately closed.
“Since then, police have been conducting investigative follow up, which has included a review of the audio call reporting the incident and a review of the investigation to date,” said Inspector Jeff Pelley, Officer in Charge of Operations, Kamloops RCMP.
“During that review, several people can be heard talking in the background, one of which indicates a potential assault was involved. The reporting of an assault should have increased the prioritization of the call and required a more-timely response.”
Police have been in contact with the salon to conduct more investigative follow up. So far, the reported victims have indicated they do not wish to pursue criminal charges with our investigation continuing.
A full review regarding the response and what led to its lower prioritization in the dispatch queue is also being conducted.
In a media report presented online, a reporter says a staff member said the RCMP deemed the case as “unimportant and told her the police had more important things to do.”
“We would like to assure the salon employees and the public that this is in fact not the case and this was an unfortunate misunderstanding of the incident initially reported,” Inspector Pelley added.
Anyone who witnessed this incident or has more information that could assist in the investigation is asked to please contact Kamloops RCMP at 250-828-3000 and reference file 2021-16411.