Many sympathize with North Van father of teenage
girl who questions RCMP criminal record checks

Keith Fraser, Vancouver Province, July 7, 2015

Andrew Tablotney defamed by PRIME BC police database

Andrew Tablotney had a similar problem
several years ago when a criminal record check
was done as a condition for him coaching kids.


Andrew Tablotney is sympathetic to the plight of a North Vancouver dad suing RCMP to clear his daughter’s name after a criminal record check that has jeopardized her volunteer work with kids.

The Richmond man had a similar problem several years ago when a criminal record check was done as a condition for him coaching kids.

Much to his surprise, the record check produced a hit on the police computer system indicating that he was known to police. Armed with the knowledge that he had no prior criminal charges or convictions, he contacted his local RCMP detachment for an explanation. Turns out that all he had done was to have reported a crime in progress, which resulted in his name being included in the police database and therefore caught by the criminal record check.

Fortunately, he was able to get the matter sorted out quickly, but feels sympathy for others who have run into bureaucratic resistance and agrees something needs to be done.

“If I hadn’t pushed the issue, I would have had to write away to Ottawa to get written confirmation that I wasn’t known for some nefarious result,” he said.

Tablotney was commenting on the case of ex-North Van city mayoral candidate Kerry Morris, who has filed suit against the RCMP over a check done on his teenage daughter, who volunteers at a religious summer camp for kids. The check produced two hits for minor incidents — neither of which resulted in criminal charges — and have put his daughter’s volunteer work at risk. He wants the B.C. Supreme Court to expunge those records because the police won’t do it for him.

Morris also got a sympathetic ear from former solicitor-general and West Vancouver police chief Kash Heed, who questioned the reliance on the police database known as PRIME B.C., which contains all police files in B.C., in criminal record checks. He said information can go into PRIME and doesn’t have to be verified or corroborated.

“This is an ongoing problem with law-enforcement and government officials and they’re not addressing this problem. I just wanted to let (Morris) know that the frustration exists and has existed for quite some time.

“I can certainly see how his daughter would be labelled. Something of that nature can easily affect a young person’s life and it seems to be affecting her life.”

When Heed was a superintendent with the Vancouver police and then police chief in West Van, he heard complaints similar to those raised by Morris.

He said the record checks should require that any information that is called up by PRIME should be verified with other databases such as the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database, which records criminal charges and convictions.

“I think you cannot take the information at face value from (PRIME),” Heed said.

Asked to explain the RCMP policy on criminal record checks, RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen declined to be interviewed. He said in an email that the difficulty with making a “general comment” on policy is that it always gets tied to a current story and then police are seen as speaking to a particular incident.

He then pointed to the RCMP website on criminal record checks, which says that if an individual is not working in a position of trust with kids or vulnerable adults, the check will be limited to criminal convictions, outstanding criminal charges and warrants.

“If you are going to be working with children or vulnerable adults, your (police check) will also include non-convictions and files in which you were a bona fide suspect, but it will not include unsubstantiated allegations,” says the website.

B.C. police use false info to smear people in an operation run
by Russell Sanderson, a proven liar and disgraced ex-cop
B.C.’s privacy commissioner expresses alarm over PRIMECorp’s usage creep.
Meanwhile a cop offers a totally false defence of the defamation database
A North Vancouver father takes the RCMP to court
after Mountie mudslingers refuse to stop smearing
his daughter on PRIME-BC
Go to News and Comment page