HALIFAX — Some of the recommendations made by a review of the Crown and RCMP's handling of the Rehtaeh Parsons case:
— Police officers investigating sexual assault allegations involving children should try to interview children with a Department of Community Services worker present at the earliest opportunity.
— Crown prosecutors who handle sexual assault cases should receive more training about sexual violence and how to respond to those cases.
— There should be more Crown counsel available to prosecute Internet child exploitation cases, and those Crown attorneys should receive increased training in this specialized area.
— The police should explore the creation of a cybercrime support unit with a broad mandate to be involved in any investigation that requires its expertise.
— Nova Scotia's departments of Justice and Education should look at whether provisions of the Education Act in 2013 that relate to cyberbullying are sufficient to address a scenario like the Parsons case, and if they are not it should be amended.
— The two departments should also determine whether principals and school staff have received enough guidance on how to interpret and apply the new provisions.
— In cases where cyberbullying may be criminal in nature, the provincial government's Cyberscan Unit — created to investigate cyberbulling — and the police should work together to ensure there is a prompt investigation and a strategy to protect the alleged victim from further acts of bullying.
The Canadian Press