The Witness Protection Program Advisory Committee has released its fifth annual report to the Commissioner of the RCMP. The Committee advises the Commissioner on matters related to the effective operation of the federal Witness Protection Program.
The Witness Protection Program thanks the Advisory Committee for its report and will continue to implement the important recommendations made in the report," said Assistant Commissioner Michel Arcand, Federal Policing Criminal Operations. "
The Committee recognized our commitment to increasing Program resources and advancing research programs, while continuing to focus on the needs of protectees."
Universally recognized as one of the most effective law enforcement tools to fight crime, witness protection facilitates the security of individuals, such as compromised informants, police agents and witnesses, who are the subject of substantial threats, intimidation or violence as a result of their assistance or involvement with law enforcement. The Witness Protection Program places protectees at the forefront of its decision-making, and will continue to implement enhancements in the areas of risk assessment, effective procedures, and technology.
The RCMP, on behalf of Public Safety Canada, administers the federal Witness Protection Program as directed in the Witness Protection Program Act. The Program remains available to not only the RCMP, but all law enforcement agencies across Canada, foreign agencies, and federal security, defence and safety organizations.
The Witness Protection Program Advisory Committee is made up of independent subject matter experts and assesses the Program's functions, processes and protocols. The report provides formal recommendations on significant elements needed to continue the Program's evolution. This year's recommendations speak to the ongoing need to focus decision-making around 'the protection continuum', as well as continue collaboration with federal and provincial partners on national witness protection standards. The Program is encouraged to draft clear and enforceable procedures surrounding disclosure for legal proceedings; explore opportunities to sensitize Canadian Family Courts about the impact on protectees and children in the Program, and leverage external research where possible to further advance the Research Strategy.
The executive summary of the Witness Protection Program Advisory Committee report is available on the RCMP website.