Just over a month after the release of a massive report on police street checks in the province, London police have released statistics from 2018.
In 2014, roughly 8,400 street checks were performed in the city. But that number dropped dramatically to just six the year that new regulations were introduced and to just two in 2018.
Deputy Chief Daryl Longworth noted one of the two 2018 interactions was deemed non-compliant with the new regulations.
“The officer did not notify the individual that he did not have to identify himself and, further, did not supply a receipt, both of which are requirements under the act,” he told the police services board at Thursday’s meeting.
“The non-compliant interaction was thoroughly reviewed, there was no misconduct identified, it was certainly just a matter of a training issue. The officer was spoken to and educated additionally on the requirements of the legislation.”
Stricter provincial regulations came into effect in January of 2017 over concerns that racialized communities were disproportionately impacted and that those who were stopped weren’t made aware of their rights.
The forest city was at the forefront of the conversation, with London City Council being the first Canadian municipality to vote in favour of ending street checks in late 2016.
At Thursday’s, London Police Services Board meeting, member Dr. Javeed Sukhera spoke to the story that the 2018 statistics tell.
“I am so proud of us in London when I see this because it reflects a real change in the way that I see the issue,” he said.
“Having statistics like this are useful and I commend our service for responding to some of the ambiguity in legislation and policy in a way that really addresses the needs of our community.”
He added that it’s important to continue to engage with the community to make sure the numbers reflect their lived experiences.
“Thus far it’s been very encouraging because that’s what we’re hearing from these communities,” he said.
“But as a board, I think we’re going to continue to be committed to engaging particularly with racialized communities in the City of London on an ongoing regular basis so that they know that we’re not going to just forget about the issue.”
– with files from 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady
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