HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's justice minister says the province accepts the recommendations in a review that found the Truro Police Service badly bungled its investigation into the 2005 death of a three-year-old girl.

Diana Whalen said today that her department will conduct regular audits of municipal police services as a result of the report into the case of Samantha Mercer, which was released Wednesday.

The review by Gerard Mitchell, police commissioner for Prince Edward Island and a retired chief justice, also recommended the department make sure small police forces can get help with major crime investigations.

Mercer died on March 3, 2005, from injuries that included a severe head injury.

Terry Dean Allen, the boyfriend of the girl's mother, was charged with manslaughter, but was acquitted in September 2009.

Whalen, who ordered the review, says she has been in touch with the Mercer family and hopes it provides answers and "some comfort."