Nova Scotia RCMP shares Street Check and Bias-Free Policing policies

April 1, 2019
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

News release

Following the release of the Halifax, Nova Scotia: Street Checks Report by Dr. Scot Wortley and the directive to police across the province from Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mark Furey, the Nova Scotia RCMP is sharing its National RCMP Policy on Street Checks and Bias-Free Policing.

The policies include a definition of street checks, when & where they can be used, roles and responsibilities, accountability as well as the principles of bias-free policing and links to other relevant legislation.

"We wanted to release these policies proactively to ensure our communities and stakeholders are aware of the standards the RCMP abides by," says Insp. Rob Doyle, Acting Officer in Charge of Halifax District RCMP. "We are committed to working with our employees, communities, the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, the Halifax Board of Police Commissioners and other stakeholders on how we enact change following the release of Dr. Wortley's report."

OM - ch. 38.2. Bias-Free Policing

Directive Amended: 2011-09-28

For information regarding this policy, contact National Crime Prevention Services, Contract and
Aboriginal Policing Services Dir. at GroupWise address OPS_POLICY_HQ.

• 1. General
• 2. Definitions
• 3. Employee
• 4. Detachment Commander/Supervisor
• 5. Commanding Officer/Cr. Ops. Officer

1. General

1. 1. Pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, sec.
, RCMP Act and sec. 48, RCMP Regulations, RCMP members will provide equitable policing services
to all people, while respecting diversity, as outlined in the bias- free policing definition in
sec. 2.1.

1. 2. Bias-free policing supports the RCMP's mission, vision, values and commitments, which
includes the RCMP's principles of community policing.

1. 3. Racial profiling includes any action or increased scrutiny against an individual based on
his/her race, colour, ethnic or national origin.

1. 4. All operational and administrative directives must comply with the bias-free policing

1. 5. Bias-free policing does not preclude the RCMP from conducting when necessary, specialized
activities including the legitimate use of relevant information, indicators or the examination of
behaviour to support police actions against criminal or potential criminal activity. These
activities may include threat assessments, sex-offender profiling, intelligence/criminal analysis,
geographical profiling or scientifically based information gathering, e.g. fingerprints and future
biometric technology, permitted by law. Personal characteristics, listed in sec. 2.1., are never
indicators of criminal activity.

1. 6. To identify a suspect, employees may continue to use observable physical descriptors,
e.g. height, weight, hair and eye colour, an individual's race, skin colour or ethnicity, if such
factors are relevant to describing a suspect.

1. 7. The principles of bias-free policing must be reflected in all employee relationships and in
recruitment, cadet field training and in-service training.

2. Definitions

2. 1. Bias-free policing means equitable treatment of all persons by all RCMP employees in the
performance of their duties, in accordance with the law and without abusing their authority
regardless of an individual's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender, sexual
orientation, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, citizenship, family status,
socio-economic status, or a conviction for which a pardon has been granted.

2. 2. Racial or colour profiling means attributing certain criminal activity to an identified group
in society on the basis of race or skin colour resulting in the targeting of individual members of
that group. Racial profiling may be consciously or unconsciously held.

2. 3. Employee includes all ranks, levels, and categories of persons employed by the RCMP.

3. Employee

3. 1. Do not engage in racial profiling.

3. 2. Provide all police services in accordance with the definition of bias-free policing. See sec.

3. 3. You will be held accountable for, and must be able to articulate, the reasons for your

3. 4. Immediately report to your supervisor/detachment commander, all allegations and observed
incidents by employees in contravention of the bias-free policing policy.

4. Detachment Commander/Supervisor

4. 1. Ensure that employees under your command act in accordance with the bias-free policing policy
and that your direction complies with these directives.

4. 2. Biased behaviour, intentional or unintentional, requires immediate intervention or

4. 3. For early prevention or intervention, consult with community leaders on issues of mutual
concern and continue to establish community partnerships, e.g. with community leaders, community
consultative groups, outreach programs.

4. 4. Immediately report all incidents/allegations in contravention of bias-free policing to your
Commanding Officer/Cr. Ops. Officer. Include the following headings in your report: issue,
background, current status, recommendation/strategic advice.

5. Commanding Officer/Cr. Ops. Officer

5. 1. Report all incidents/allegations in contravention of bias-free policing to the OIC National
Crime Prevention Services.


• Policing a Country Within a City, Toronto Police Service Study
United Nations Code of Conduct For Law Enforcement Officials
- Article 1 and 2

• Brown v. Durham Regional Police Force (1998), 43 O.R. (3d) 223
• Hum v. RCMP (1986), 8 CHRR D/223 (F.C.A.)
• R. v. Villatoro (2002) B.C.J. No. 2293 (Prov. Ct.)
• R. v. Campbell (2005) Q.J. No. 394 (C. of Qbc)
• R. v. Byfield (2005) O.J. No. 228 (O.C.A.)
RCMP Contract and Aboriginal Policing
Human Rights Code

OM - ch. 1.4. Street Checks

Directive Amended: 2017-02-13
For information regarding this policy, contact National Criminal Operations, Contract and
Aboriginal Policing.
• 1. Definitions
• 2. General
• 3. Roles and Responsibilities
• 4. Records Management

1. Definitions

1. 1. Bias-Free Policing means equitable treatment of all persons by all RCMP employees in the
performance of their duties, and in accordance with the law, and without abusing their authority
regardless of an individual's race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, gender, sexual
orientation, marital status, age, mental or physical disability, citizenship, family status,
socio-economic status, or a conviction for which a pardon has been granted. See ch. 38.2.

1. 2. Street check means an electronic record of information obtained through a contact with a
person who was not detained or arrested during his/her interaction with the police.

NOTE: Not all face to face contacts with the public in which identifying information is requested
will require an electronic record.

2. General

2. 1. Street checks should meet the following basic criteria:

2. 1. 1. the member has had face-to-face contact with a person;

2. 1. 2. the member has obtained identifying information from that person;

2. 1. 3. the contact was not the result of an active investigation or call for service; and

2. 1. 4. the recording of the information obtained during the contact serves a policing purpose.

2. 2. A street check is a valuable investigative tool that allows the storing and sharing of
information related to crime and public safety issues.

2. 2. 1. Street checks can be used to initiate and support investigations, and identify crime

2. 3. Policing must be professional, open, ethical, respectful, unbiased, and reflect the
principles of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Human Rights Act.

2. 4. Street checks must comply with bias-free policing directives.

2. 5. The police will regularly engage the public as part of routine police practices.

2. 5. 1. The common law provides the authority to police to speak with members of the public during
the commission of their duties.

2. 6. The subject of a street check is not obligated to provide information to police. Providing
personal identifying information must be voluntary.

NOTE: If the interaction is not voluntary, or the willingness of the person providing the
identifying information is in question, the member should remind the person that they are free to
go and are under no obligation to provide this information.

2. 7. Street check stops must not be random or arbitrary but may be completed for incidents that
relate to police and public safety. Members must have an articulable cause for conducting a street
check including but not limited to:

2. 7. 1. non-detention or non-arrest interactions;

2. 7. 2. suspicious circumstances or behaviour observed by police;

2. 7. 3. contact with persons of interest at locations where criminal activity occurs, time of day,
or at high crime areas identified by officers, crime analysts, or community stakeholders;

2. 7. 4. interactions with persons known to be, or reasonably believed to be, involved in criminal

2. 7. 5. gathering information on drug, gang, or organized crime suspects; and

2. 7. 6. officer safety interactions with persons or groups who may be deemed a risk to the public
or police.

2. 8. The following will not be electronically recorded through a street check:

2. 8. 1. offence-related occurrences, investigations, or calls for service;

2. 8. 2. confidential human source information;

2. 8. 3. a seizure of property;

2. 8. 4. weapons offences, violence, or threats of violence; or

2. 8. 5. observations of policing value made by an officer without interaction with the public.

NOTE: Observations of policing value made without a public/police interaction (where the identity
of the individual is known) must be recorded through, either an information or an intelligence

2. 9. If a subject is detained or arrested, a substantive file must be created to articulate the
circumstances and grounds of that detention/arrest.

2. 10. In provinces where the RCMP are designated as police officers, members must comply with
provincial legislation relating to the collection of identifying information or street checks.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

3. Member

3. 1. 1. You must be aware that the subject of a street check is not obligated to provide
information to police.

3. 1. 1. 1. Providing personal identifying information must be voluntary. See sec. 2.6.

3. 1. 2. Street checks are to be documented in your notebook, in accordance with ch. 25.2.

3. 1. 3. Document street checks on the Records Management System (RMS) as soon as possible after
the contact, to ensure that the information is readily available to other members.

3. 1. 4. Ensure all street checks are complete and accurate.

3. 1. 4. 1. Pay close attention to physical characteristics of the subject, or other identifying
characteristics, including clothing, behaviours, habits, and mannerisms, that would uniquely
identify the subject.

3. 1. 5. Document date, time, associated vehicles, and locations.

3. 1. 6. Document the investigative and public safety reasons for initiating contact within the
text portion of the street check.

3. 1. 7. To ensure the proper retention of street check electronic files, link street checks to all
associated/related substantive files in the RMS.

NOTE: For PROS users, see ch. 47.3., sec. 15.

3. 1. 8. Support and enhance information-sharing and intelligence-led policing by informing other
investigators or crime analysts of information obtained.

3. 1. 9. Ensure you check all applicable indices, including CPIC.

3. 1. 10. When information obtained is time sensitive, notify the appropriate section,
investigator, or other interested party/parties.

3. 1. 11. If information obtained through a contact with a member of the public results in the
person becoming a confidential informant, document this in accordance with ch. 31.1.

3. 1. 12. If you are uncertain whether a contact should be classified as a street check, consult a

3. 2. Supervisor

3. 2. 1. Monitor and review all street checks to ensure compliance with this, and any other,
applicable policy.

3. 2. 2. Provide guidance to members on the appropriate use of street checks, as required.

3. 2. 3. If a street check does not comply with this policy, request that the record be modified
for compliance within the RMS.

3. 2. 4. Verify that members have ensured the proper retention of street check files by linking
them to a substantive file, as appropriate.

NOTE: For PROS, see ch. 47.3., sec. 15.

3. 2. 5. Supervisors must put in place a workflow process to ensure supervisor-review of all street

3. 2. 6. Take appropriate action if information entered on a street check may compromise an
investigation, or the safety of the public or police.

3. 2. 7. Take action if information received is information that, if divulged, could endanger a
member of the public, or if information received, infers a threat to a specific member. See ch.

4. Records Management

4. 1. Street checks are kept for two years after being concluded in PRIME/PROS/VERSADEX HALIFAX.

EXCEPTION: A street check that is linked to a secondary operational file must have the
same retention period as the linked operational file.


Contact information

Cpl. Jennifer Clarke
Provincial Information Officer
Nova Scotia RCMP
Cell: 902-222-0154

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