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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 2021, the SIU invoked its mandate 15 times in Durham, compared to 10 times in 2020. One of these cases are pending, criminal charges were laid in one of the cases, nine were closed with no further action, and four were terminated and had no report filed with the Attorney General.

Public Complaints

In 2021, the OIPRD received 156 public complaints with respect to the conduct of either DRPS officers or DRPS services, or policies. This represented a 5.4 percent increase from the 148 complaints received in 2020. However, it is important to note in 2020, we received 19 public complaints regarding the same matter.
Of the 156 public complaints involving DRPS officers, conduct, services or policies, 81 were addressed by the OIPRD as follows
  • 75 were screened out by the OIPRD and closed based on the criteria outlined in the Oversight Appendix.
  • One was withdrawn before screening
  • Five were assigned to third-party police services for investigations and, at the time of writing, one was resolved by Informal Resolution, three were unsubstantiated and one is still under investigation.
The remaining 75 public complaints were assigned to DRPS PSU for investigation. This is a 33.9 percent increase from the 56 that were assigned to PSU in 2020.
60 of those public complaints have been resolved as follows:
  • Five were resolved by way of Early Resolution,
  • 19 were closed by way of Informal Resolution Agreement (after mediation with PSU investigators),
  • One was terminated by OIPRD,
  • One was terminated by PSU (unable to investigate),
  • 11 were deemed unsubstantiated, and
  • 23 were withdrawn by the complainants (after mediation with PSU investigators).
The remaining 15 public complaints are still under investigation.

Use of Force

As of Jan. 1, 2020, the Ontario government implemented a standardized system of “use of force” reporting by all police services. In 2021, 243 out of 113,352 police calls received by DRPS met the threshold for mandatory reporting. This amounts to approximately 0.2 per cent of all calls (not including traffic stops and other undispatched-officer contact with the public). This reflects the professional, strategic and purposeful manner in which our officers engage the members of our community on a daily basis, as well as their commitment to making the Region of Durham a safe community in which to live, work and play. It is also a testament to our rigorous officer training to use force as a last resort.
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