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Special Investigations Unit

The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is the civilian oversight agency responsible for investigating circumstances involving police that have resulted in a death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault of a civilian in Ontario, Canada. In 2023, the SIU invoked their mandate 12 times in Durham, compared to 13 times in 2022. Ten were closed with no further action and two were terminated and had no report filed with the Attorney General.

Public Complaints

In 2023, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) received 188 public complaints with respect to the conduct of either DRPS officers or DRPS services, or policies. This represented a 20.5% increase from the 156 complaints received in 2022. Of the 188 public complaints involving DRPS officers, conduct, services or policies, 97 were addressed by the OIPRD as follows
  • 91 were screened out by the OIPRD and closed based on the criteria outlined in the Oversight Appendix.
  • 2 were assigned by the OIPRD to other Services for Investigation (Peel Regional Police & OPP)
  • Four were withdrawn before screening.
The remaining 91 public complaints were assigned to DRPS’ Professional Standards Unit (PSU) for investigation. This is a 56% increase from the 57 that were assigned to PSU in 2022.
84 of those public complaints have been resolved as follows:
  • 7 were resolved by way of Early Resolution,
  • 22 were closed by way of Informal Resolution Agreement (after mediation with PSU investigators),
  • 3 were terminated by OIPRD,
  • 1 was closed by way of Local Resolution
  • 28 were deemed unsubstantiated, and
  • 23 were withdrawn by the complainants (after mediation with PSU investigators).
The remaining seven public complaints are still under investigation.

Use of Force

There were 203 incidents involving Use of Force* in 2023. This is the lowest number of incidents and reports in the last five years. The number of Use of Force incidents in 2023 is lower than the five-year average by 18%.
This reflects the professional, strategic and purposeful manner in which our officers engage the members of our community each and every day. It is also a testament to our rigorous officer training to use force as a last resort.
The Conducted Energy Weapon (Taser) was reported as a Use of Force option in 79 incidents in 2023. The CEW was actually discharged only 25 times, being just drawn or pointed in the remaining occasions.
*Use of Force is a broad term for police interaction that can include open-handed interaction, aerosol or impact weapon use, Conducted Energy Weapon drawn or used, K-9 apprehension, handgun drawn or handgun pointed. Soft physical control for the purposes of affecting an arrest is not considered Use of Force unless the physical control results in civilian injury.
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