Ontario Receives Ombudsman's Report On Special Investigations Unit



    McGuinty Government Strengthening Police Oversight In Ontario

    TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario has received the Ombudsman's report on the Special Investigations
Unit (SIU).
    In his report, Ombudsman André Marin examines the operational
effectiveness of the SIU and provides 46 recommendations directed toward the
SIU, the Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Government of Ontario.

    In response to the issues raised in the report, the Ministry of the
Attorney General has committed to:
    
    -   Provide an additional $700,000, a 12 per cent increase, to fund eight
        new SIU staff, including civilian investigators and community
        outreach staff
    -   Provide one-time funding for a Mobile Investigative Centre that will
        allow SIU investigators to establish an independent presence at the
        scene of major incidents, and conduct instant, thorough, secure and
        video-taped interviews with witnesses
    -   Provide for the appointment of SIU Directors to a five-year term
    -   Clarify the accountability and independence of the SIU Director in a
        new Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and the SIU to
        ensure the organization is accountable to the taxpayer but has total
        independence in decision-making
    -   Bring issues of concern identified by the SIU to the attention of
        other ministries on a regular basis as they arise
    -   Lead a discussion with justice sector partners and the public to
        identify ways to achieve the report's underlying objectives
    -   Report back to the Ombudsman every six months with the ministry's
        progress on implementing his recommendations
    

    The SIU will respond independently to the recommendations directed
towards it.
    A strengthened SIU and the newly developing Independent Police Review
Office are evidence of Ontario's commitment to independent, civilian
oversight.

    QUOTE

    "I would like to thank the Ombudsman for his report, as well as the
community groups and police organizations who shared their ideas on how to
improve the system," said Attorney General Chris Bentley. "I have confidence
in the leadership and the men and women of the SIU. I also have confidence in
the police officers who work hard every day to keep our streets safe."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada where every serious injury
        or death stemming from police work is fully investigated by a
        completely independent civilian organization
    -   The SIU investigates circumstances involving police and civilians
        that have resulted in serious injury, including sexual assault, or
        death
    -   In 1997, the Honourable George Adams was appointed to review the SIU.
        The recommendations contained in his 1998 report helped to create the
        organization that exists today
    -   The SIU reports to the Attorney General; however its investigations
        and decisions are made independent of government

    LEARN MORE

    Read the Ombudsman's report (http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/en.aspx).

    Learn more about the Special Investigations Unit
(http://www.siu.on.ca/home.html).

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                                             ontario.ca/attorneygeneral-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    




For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the
Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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Ontario Ministry of The Attorney General

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