Update 11:20am: HRP response added below.
The province’s independent Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) today released its report regarding an investigation against a 35-year-old member of the Halifax Regional Police.
On today’s date charges of theft and breach of trust were laid against Cst. Laurence Gary Basso, in relation to a substance known as “cut” which went missing from an HRP exhibit locker. A charge of obstruction of justice was also laid. That matter relates to alleged steps taken to help a third party avoid detection and arrest by other HRP members. All matters are alleged to have arisen between January 1 and March 14, 2015.
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.
Update From HRP:
HRP Statement: SiRT charges HRP Officer
Earlier this morning, SiRT announced charges of theft, breach of trust and obstruction of justice against Detective Constable Gary Basso who has been an officer with Halifax Regional Police (HRP) for 11½ years.
HRP referred this matter to SiRT in May 2015 as soon as we realized there was a possible misappropriation of an exhibit seized during an investigation. SiRT accepted our request to conduct the investigation as it met their mandate. We suspended D/Cst. Basso at the same time, and he remains suspended with pay pending the outcome of this matter.
This is a very serious allegation and we don’t take this matter lightly. We recognize that citizens expect police officers to be beyond reproach and that these charges will be as much a concern to you as they are to us. We’ll be watching this case very closely as it makes its way through the courts. To help prevent this type of situation from happening in future, we’ve conducted an audit of our drug exhibits and are awaiting the results and recommendations.
We assure the public that this is an isolated incident which doesn’t represent the hard work, dedication and professionalism our officers show day in and day out.
Source: Media Release