Police - criminal justice system
Police provide law enforcement, crime prevention and community safety services to local communities. Police are responsible for maintaining order and ensuring provincial and federal laws are followed. In British Columbia, both RCMP and municipal police forces, such as the Vancouver Police Department, provide police services.
To learn more, please visit Policing in B.C. or Investigating a Crime.
Police support the community and protect it from harm. They watch for and prevent criminal behaviour. When a crime is committed, police are responsible for responding, from answering telephone enquiries to investigating murders or assaults. The police can help make people safe by:
- Referring victims of crime to police-based victim services
- Referral to community-based victim services that support victims of crime, witnesses, adult accused, adult offenders, youth accused, youth offenders and family members
- Helping get a protection order (no contact order)
- For people in danger, helping find a free emergency shelter to stay in
The police work to ensure safety and also investigate criminal activity by:
- Assisting and questioning victims and witnesses and others who can provide information about a crime (including documenting witnesses’ testimonies)
- Investigating reports of crime and preparing a report and evidence for an arrest
- Making recommendations based on evidence that may result in an arrest
- Providing witness testimony in court