For Immediate Release
March 22nd, 2016
Mayor Crombie Welcomes Final Regulation to Govern Police Interactions
Mississauga – The new regulation governing police interactions with members of the public provides a framework to increase accountability, improve oversight and strengthen trust between police and the people they serve, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said today.
Mayor Crombie made the comments following today’s announcement by Yasir Naqvi, Ontario’s Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, that the Wynne government is banning the practice of street checks and carding in Ontario.
“Since June of 2015, I have joined members of the Peel Police Services Board to raise the level of public debate needed on the issue of police street checks,” Mayor Crombie said. “In September, the Board passed a resolution recommending the suspension of this practice, which is why I am encouraged by the leadership and action being taken from Minister Naqvi’s announcement today,” Mayor Crombie added.
The new regulation establishes clear and consistent rules to protect civil liberties during voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information to solve and prevent crimes.
Mayor Crombie said “I have repeatedly said we must provide front line police officers with the tools they need to do their jobs, but at the same time we must protect the rights and freedoms of all residents, despite race, religion or ethnicity, or other characteristic.”
“These principles are reflected in the final regulation brought forward by Minister Naqvi and the Wynne government today.”
“This rights-based framework is the first of its kind in our province’s history and will make a positive and lasting difference in Mississauga and in communities across Ontario.”
The regulation is also reflective of the ongoing feedback I have received from the community over the past several months, added Crombie, who participated in roundtable discussions with residents during an August 2015 public meeting on police street checks organized by Minister Naqvi.
“These types of meetings were opportunities to further engage and hear from the residents of Mississauga and Peel about their ideas and solutions to keep our community safe.”
To that end, Mayor Crombie will raise with her Peel Police Services Board colleagues the need for public education sessions in Peel to better inform residents about the new regulations and their rights as a result.
Mayor Crombie is also concerned about the legacy data, or the data that has already been collected by police through carding and street checks. “While today’s regulation deals with the collection and retention of data moving forward, it is important that we protect the data already collected.”
Crombie will raise this and ask for this data to be stored in a restricted database, accessible moving forward only with good reason, similar to the data that will be collected under the new regulations.
“We cannot have two sets of rules on data and must ensure all residents are protected,” said Crombie.
“Together, we are ensuring openness, accountability, and public confidence guides our efforts to keep families and neighbourhoods safe,” Mayor Crombie concluded.