Law Enforcement

U.K. moves against protests

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed today that he wants to extend police powers to clamp down on “disruptive” public protests pre-emptively. “We cannot have protests conducted by a small minority disrupting the lives of the ordinary public," he said January 15. “We're going to bring it to an end.” [node:read-more:link]

Federal “catch and release” criticized

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today that the federal government is considering bail reforms after provincial and territorial leaders called for “immediate action” to overhaul the system. In a letter dated January 13, they said the system too readily releases potential repeat offenders. “Our heroic first responders cannot wait,” they said, calling for Criminal Code amendments which would “keep anyone who poses a threat to public safety off the streets.” [node:read-more:link]

Alberta leader denies interfering

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she used “imprecise” language seen as trying to influence Crown prosecutors’ handling of cases of health violations during the pandemic. The opposition the legislature had called for an investigation after Smith had said at least twice that she said she had asked proecutors whether it was in the public interest to pursue charges, but now says that “at no time” had she directly interacted with them. She said all discussions had been with Attorney General Tyler Shandro and his deputy. [node:read-more:link]

Canada sends armoured vehicles for Haiti

Canada delivered three more armoured vehicles to the Haiti National Police via military aircraft. The vehicles are for use against criminal gangs which have caused a humanitarian crisis. Canada supplied an initial batch of AVs last October. [node:read-more:link]

Sweden contemplates civil conscription

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson announced today that his government is preparing to reintroduce conscription of civilians for its emergency services. His Civil Defence Minister, Carl-Oskar Bohlin, said the focus will be on deploying appropriately trained civilians within the municipal rescue services and bolstering their capabilities to respond in a state of emergency or to any potential attack. [node:read-more:link]

Police killings a call for action

Several major Canadian police associations want to identify the root causes of an “unacceptable wave of violence” after five officers were killed on duty in four months. “We are saying today what we are sure most Canadians are feeling: enough is enough,” the Canadian Police Association, the Police Association of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police Association and the Toronto Police Association said January 6. Representing some 60,000 personnel, they said “everything will be on the table”, including judicial frameworks and a “growing and chronic” shortage of officers. [node:read-more:link]

International criminals targetting Canada

A surge in automobile thefts across Canada is being tied to international gangs and police services are having trouble stopping them. In Toronto alone, they overtook burglary as the second-most common crime in 2022, jumping to 9,439 from the previous year’s 6,518. Hundreds of vehicles are retrieved and dozens of thieves arrested but Insurance Bureau of Canada investigator Bryan Gast says the problem is that “we’re getting to a point now where globally we’re a source country for stolen vehicles.” [node:read-more:link]

Cop-killer appeals sentence

Jason Burke, a New Brunswick man who shot three RCMP officers in 2014, is appealing his unprecedented three consecutive 25-year prison terms without eligibility for parole. His application to the province’s appeal court, to be considered February 15, cites a Supreme Court of Canada’s decision last May which struck down as unconstitutional a 2011 law that made it possible for judges to extend parole ineligibility in cases of multiple murders. [node:read-more:link]

An “extremely extraordinary” court ruling

A Nova Scotia court has banished a U.S.-Canadian citizen from Canada in what the presiding judge acknowledges is an “extremely extraordinary” sentencing. Allen Desrosiers, 64, whose only tie to Canada is through his mother, served 23 years in Massachusetts for a range of sexual offences. Shortly after arriving in Nova Scotia last fall, he was charged with criminal harassment for stalking a woman. He told the judge he would not return to Canada if he was sent back to the U.S., where he has spent most of his life. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian cop killings “unprecedented”

The December 27 shooting death of an Ontario Provincial Police constable literally hours after he had completed probation and could patrol independently, has left many in the ranks devastated. Grzegorz Pierzchala was the fourth officer to be killed while on duty in Ontario this fall and the fifth in Canada since mid-September. “I've been in policing for 18 years, but certainly during my time I've never seen anything like this,” says Mark Baxter, President of the Police Association of Ontario. “It really has shaken our profession to the core.” [node:read-more:link]

Enough Fentanyl to kill entire U.S.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says a recent drug bust resulted in the seizure not only of methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin but also 4,500 kilograms of Fentanyl and 50.6 million pills made to resemble different prescription pain-killers. The DEA said December 20 that the highly-addictive substance made by Mexican cartels from Chinese raw materials could have been used to manufacture 379 million fatal doses. [node:read-more:link]

Stolen vehicle ring suspects arrested

Toronto-area police forces have arrested 51 people and recovered more than 215 stolen after a months-long investigation. Project Touchdown also resulted in the seizure of 15 handguns and an assault rifle, most of which have been traced to the U.S., as well as ammunition, a kilogram of cocaine, and “various reprogramming devices.” York Regional Police Chief Jim Macsween said today that in his jurisdiction alone, vehicle thefts this year are more than 44 per cent higher than in 2021. [node:read-more:link]

Teenagers charged in “swarm” killing

Eight teenage girls have been charged with second-degree murder and remanded in custody after a 59-year-old man was stabbed in a Toronto “swarming” incident. Three are 13, three are 14 and two are 16 and police say three had had previous contact with them. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa police prepared for protest anniversary

Indications that organizers of last winter’s trucker blockade of Ottawa are planning an anniversary visit have prompted Police Chief Eric Stubbs to flatly reject the idea. “The Ottawa Police Service will not allow for the conditions that led to the unlawful protests seen in February 2022,” he said December 19. “Vehicle-based protests will not be allowed to enter the downtown core or in areas of national significance and we will take appropriate action to preserve public safety.” [node:read-more:link]


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