London

London police conduct 6 street checks in 2017

The London Police Service released numbers on Thursday related to street checks conducted in the city throughout 2017.

A total of 10 people were stopped, seven of which were Caucasian

(CBC)

The London Police Service released numbers on Thursday related to street checks conducted in the city throughout 2017.

Between January and December of last year, officers conducted six street checks — controversial practices that require collecting identifying information from an individual who isn't under arrest or investigation.

The report comes after new provincial regulations came into effect after critics claimed the practice unfairly targeted minority groups. The practice is known as "the collection of identifying information in certain circumstances" among police officials. 

The police board heard on Thursday that four of the six interactions didn't comply with new regulations.

Deputy Chief Daryl Longworth said the officers didn't notify the individuals involved that they had the right to refuse the interaction. In addition, officers didn't follow up with a receipt that includes the officers contact information.

London Police Service released a chart on Thursday showing the race of people stopped for street checks in 2017. (London Police Service)

"The officers were spoken to and referred back to the legislation and informed of the proper process and proper procedure for next time," he said.

A total of 10 people were stopped, seven of which were Caucasian. Three others came from the Black, Hispanic and Middle Eastern communities.

New rules

In January of last year, the provincial government banned police from randomly or "arbitrarily" stopping people to collect information.

The new rules prohibit officers from stopping people based on race or presence in a high crime neighbourhood.

In years past, street check numbers in London were reported to be in the thousands. But Longworth said police used a different form as a tracking tool for an array of incidents.

"That form was used to capture a myriad of administrative functions that we performed and it was just because it was a tracking system that was available to us so certainly the numbers that we reported at that time were inflated," he said, suggesting that past numbers shouldn't be compared to this year's report.

The new guidelines also give the public the opportunity to file a freedom-of-information request to gain clarity about why an individual was questioned. Police said none were filed last year.

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the practice in April in a public review process.