Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mark Furey today, March 28, directed police across the province to immediately cease using street checks as part of a quota system or performance measurement tool.
This directive comes after the release of an independent report on the use of street checks showing that African Nova Scotians are disproportionately represented.
“The findings of this report are alarming and the findings are unacceptable,” said Mr. Furey. “Immediate action will be taken to correct this.”
The Department of Justice will invest in mandatory training for the more than 1,900 police officers across the province. Training will focus on the findings of the report and reinforce with officers the fundamentals of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, their missions, vision and values and policing codes of ethics.
Mr. Furey has also called upon the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, the Human Rights Commission and the policing community to begin immediate work on a plan for short, medium- and long-term actions to address the issue. These representatives will work alongside senior officials with the Department of Justice and African Nova Scotian Affairs to deliver a plan by mid-May. Mr. Furey followed up with representatives today by way of an official letter.
“These measures are an important first step in rebuilding trust in the community. I am looking forward to working hand-in-hand with members of the community to effect meaningful change,” said Mr. Furey.
Prof. Scot Wortley’s report examined 12 years of data from Halifax Regional Police and the RCMP. His findings were also based on input from 11 community consultative meetings, interviews with police and community representatives and an online survey with more than 500 participants.
Source : Media Release