On June 16, 2015, Ontario announced that it would develop a new regulation to address situations commonly known as “carding” or “street checks,” in which police officers collect, or attempt to collect, identifying information from members of the public outside of criminal investigations and procedures such as arrests, warrants, traffic stops and detention. The government wanted to ensure a fair and consistent approach throughout the province.
Following a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process that included public meetings, online engagement and stakeholder meetings, we announced a new regulation in 2016,
O. Reg. 58/16, Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances – Prohibitions and Duties.
As of January 1, 2017, the new regulation is in force. It lays out rules police must follow when they ask someone to identify themselves and in what situations these rules apply. These new rules aim to promote positive relationships and safer communities, and ensure that peoples’ rights are respected.
To help people understand what they can expect during police interactions under the new regulation, the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has prepared a number of plain-language materials. These include:
· web content, posted at www.ontario.ca/streetchecks
· social media campaign content on @ONsafety and @ONsecurite twitter accounts.
· A printable poster and one-page fact sheet are attached
Distributing this information through different sources is key to raising awareness about the impact of the new regulation, especially among youth, parents, and people who may have been more likely to experience street checks in the past. There are several ways that partners, stakeholders and front-line service providers can help:
· by sharing information about the new regulation on social media
· by printing/posting/distributing materials directly
· by sharing this information with your partners who directly interact with target audiences and asking them to distribute them (these may include high schools, colleges and universities, community centres, social and health service providers, and other frontline organizations)
· by supporting local awareness activities about the new regulation