Friday , January 15 2021

A judge in Ontario says carding doesn't work. But will the politicians listen?

A judge in Ontario, who earlier this week called to remove arbitrary street controls, will talk about the results of an independent investigation he led into police service known as "carding" Friday morning.

Court of Appeal Justice Michael Tulloch's 310-page review, published Monday, combined 11 months of overall consultations with thousands of people, including community groups, members of the public, and 34 police.

"There is little or no evidence that a random, unfocused collection of identifying information has benefits that outweigh the social costs of practice," Tulloch wrote in the report.

Discount, he concluded, has little value as a law enforcement tool and should be significantly limited in view of the "social costs" in practice.

How the province and the municipalities plan to respond to the recommendations is still to be seen.

& # 39; Significant & # 39; effort with & # 39; little to no & # 39; results

Tulloch's review followed new street control rules, introduced in 2016, and requires police to inform people under a street check that they are not required to provide any identifying information. This movement followed years of control in the midst of data showing that the officers disproportionately stopped blacks and other racialized people.

The police across Ontario have long argued that street controls have investigative value – something Tulloch challenged in his report.

"A widespread program of random street controls involves considerable time and effort for a police service, with few or no controllable results at crime level or even arrests," he wrote. "Some police services reported that there are other ways to collect or use data that they already have more efficiently."

But exactly when street checks are allowed, it's not quite clear.

Among the recommendations in the report, the Tulloch government recommended taking a tougher line of street control, tightening definitions of terms such as "identifying information" and "suspicious circumstances" and extending the protection during vehicle stops. Street checks, he said, may be of value in cases where there are clear suspicious circumstances or when the police are looking for a missing person or a criminal victim.

Tulloch, who was hired by Ontario's former Liberal government to assess the effectiveness of new regulations with the aim of limiting the impact of street control on racial groups, said that these circumstances are very specific and that practices as a whole should be intensified. .

Friday's event is charged as an opportunity for the public and members of the media to question the results.

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