Skip to content

New West police officers did zero street checks in 2022

Audit of street checks says none were done in 2022 in New Westminster
A review found that New Westminster police officers did not do any street checks in 2022.

New Westminster police officers didn’t do any street checks in 2022, according to a report to the police board.

At its Jan. 17 meeting, the police board received a report about the findings of an annual audit of police check files in 2022. The report stated that no street checks were done in 2022, which was not the case in some past years.

“I just wanted to offer my congratulations to NWPD for attaining zero street checks, given findings in the past about the racialized effects of a street checks,” said police board member Patrick Lalonde.

Lalonde said the results hit on several of the items the board has tasked the police force with attaining.

“I hope it continues,” he said.

The report stated there’s been an “intense interest” in the police practice of street checks across Canada, mostly due to an over-representation of marginalized members of society.

The report on 2022 street checks was provided to the police board for information purposes for compliance under British Columbia provincial policing standards that were adopted in 2019. In 2020, the New Westminster Police Department adopted a policy to ensure that street checks are performed and documented in an unbiased and lawful manner.

“A street check is any voluntary interaction between a police officer and a person that is more than a casual conversation and which impedes the person’s movements,” explained the report. “A street check may include a request for identifying information depending on the circumstances. The decision to conduct a street check shall not be based on identity factors and shall not be based solely on that person sharing an identity factor with a person being sought by the police. Random or arbitrary street checks shall not be conducted.”

According to the report, members aren’t permitted to request or demand, collect or record a person’s identifying information without a justifiable reason, such as lawful detention or arrest, an investigation of an offence and an imminent public safety threat. Police offers may request that a person voluntarily provide identifying information provided that serves a specific public safety purpose or objective, such as assisting in locating a missing person, having an objectively reasonable concern for a person’s immediate safety and assisting a person in distress to refer them to health or other support services.

“The police can conduct street checks when they are making inquiries into reasonable and legitimate public safety purposes, such as suspicious activity, crime prevention or intelligence gathering,” said the report.

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks