Tabling of the 2006-2007 Police Ethics Commissioner's Annual Management Report



    QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Police Ethics Commissioner's
annual management report for the period between April 1st 2006 and March 31st
2007 had been filed under the authority of the Minister of Public Security,
before the National Assembly on October 25th 2007.
    The Police Ethics Commissioner is a free-standing, independent
institution responsible for the civilian oversight of Québec police officers
and special constables, and of highway controllers of the Société de
l'assurance automobile du Québec. To this end, the Commissioner receives and
inquires into complaints from the public and, if appropriate, enforces the
Code of ethics of Québec police officers through conciliation between the
parties or citations before the ethics tribunal.

    
    Highlights

    - Complaints received

    - 1,371 ethics complaints were received this year.

    - The complaints received can be broken down as follows:

      - 42.1% involved behaviours liable to damage the confidence and
        consideration required of police officers in the performance of their
        duties, such as rudeness, arrogance, refusal to produce official
        identification, etc.;

      - 33.7% involved abuse of authority, such as the use of excessive
        force, threats or harassment, etc.;

      - 20.8% involved behaviours that could be detrimental to the authority
        of the law and the courts, such as failing to obtain the required
        warrants, or arbitrary arrests and detentions.


    - Breakdown of complaints by police force

    - 23% of the complaints involved members of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ),
      36.7% involved members of the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
      (SPVM - Montreal Police Department), 37.9% involved other municipal
      police forces and 2.9%, special constables or highway controllers.


    - Service accessibility

    - There was a 42% increase in the use of our web site. It is currently
      being upgraded to help citizens exercise their rights, improve the
      content of the site and make it easier to consult.

    - The welcoming, information and assistance activities offered to
      citizens were stabilised at a high level, since we conducted
      279 interviews and 3,222 follow-up telephone calls this year.

    - The implementation of an unprecedented action plan to distribute our
      information folders and institutional posters. All Québec police
      services and some 40 representative non-government bodies contributed
      in making over 4,600 folders and 900 posters available to citizens. In
      2007-2008, we intend to pursue our efforts in this direction, including
      in courthouses and municipal courts.

    - The number of complaints has been consistently maintained. With
      1,371 complaints in 2006-2007 and 1,381 in 2005-2006, we note a
      recurring increase of at least 11.5% of complaints in relation to the
      five previous years' average.


    - The agency's performance

    - Continued improvement of our initial complaints examination procedure,
      hence, this year, a 15% increase in the number of files referred to
      conciliation, and a 34.4% reduction of the number of files referred to
      investigation.

    - Consistent 47.9% gains on global complaints processing time in
      comparison with the five previous years' average. Moreover, this year,
      the average 74.8 days processing time is a record mark since the ethics
      system was first established.

    - However, the conciliation success rate is still very high with an 85.2%
      success factor. Moreover, the average conciliation time was improved by
      11.1% over last year's numbers. In 2006-2007, conciliation time was
      50.3 days.

    - 167 investigative reports were filed this year, while the average
      investigation period was improved by 5.3%, despite the fact that we had
      to deal with heavy absences, mainly sick leaves, within our
      investigation branch. In 2007-2008, our efforts aimed at increasing
      productivity and reducing processing time will be heightened since we
      should be able to count on a more complete team of investigators.

    - The decisions that followed the filing of these investigative reports
      were marked by swiftness since they were rendered within an average
      time of + 52.1 days. It is a remarkable improvement since this period
      was 188.5 days in 2005-2006. Our strategic target for 2007-2008 in this
      regard is 45 days. We should mention that 95 of the files considered
      were the subject of reasoned written dismissals and those 59 cases of
      citations were filed before the ethics tribunal.


    - Development of a preventive approach

    - Various recommendations were made to police services to avoid
      situations considered detrimental, including:

    - the method used to obtain exhibits within the framework of coroners'
      reports;

    - the conditions of confinement in certain police stations;

    - police mental health training to determine appropriate intervention
      procedures.

    - Involvement in government proceedings and police work to fight racial
      profiling and other illicit forms of discrimination.

    - Filing and presentation to the National Assembly of a parliamentary
      consultation report entitled "Towards a government policy to fight
      against racism and discrimination".

    - Information-exchange conferences with the management of police
      services, their internal affairs officers, the trainers, as well as the
      new cohorts of the Ecole nationale de police du Québec and police
      technology students.

    - Participation of the Commissioner as a member of the Commission de
      formation et de recherche (training and research commission) of l'Ecole
      nationale de police du Québec.
    

    The unedited management report is available on the site:
    www.deontologie-policiere.gouv.qc.ca/pdf/commissaire_rapport_annuel_2006-
2007.pdf

    Source:

    Me Louise Letarte
    Telephone: (418) 643-7897
    -%SU: LAW
    -%RE: 37




For further information:

For further information: Me Louise Letarte, (418) 643-7897

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Comité de déontologie policière

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