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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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'
- the conditions of confinement in certain police stations;
- police mental health training to determine appropriate intervention
- 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
- 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:
Me Louise Letarte
Telephone: (418) 643-7897
For further information:
For further information: Me Louise Letarte, (418) 643-7897