Ontario’s ombudsman is looking for more accountability from police.
Paul Dubé released a submission to the independent police oversight review on Thursday, looking to make Ontario’s police watchdog entities more effective, transparent and accountable.
Dubé argues that all three of Ontario’s police oversight bodies, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC), should be within the Ombudsman’s mandate. At present, only the SIU, which investigates cases where police are involved in incidents of serious injury or death, is under his jurisdiction.
“Our civilian oversight bodies represent critical checks and balances in our democracy,” Mr. Dubé says in his submission to the review headed by Hon. Michael Tulloch. ‘‘However, public trust depends on their effectiveness, and transformative change is required to foster confidence in policing in this province.”
Dubé is hoping to change perceptions of a pro-police bias. His office claims to have twice issued reports on investigations of the SIU, revealing serious structural and operational concerns.
The office received nearly 200 complaints about both the OIPRD and the OCPC in the last four years, with 138 of those about the OIPRD.
A list of 16 recommendations have been made in the offices latest submission, including that the SIU be required by law to release director’s reports publicly in cases where no charges are laid, that it make public any significant concerns it identifies regarding police practices, and that it be illegal for police not to co-operate with the SIU.
— Ontario Ombudsman (@Ont_Ombudsman) October 27, 2016