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News Release

SIU Responds to 2011 Ombudsman Report

Case Number: Ombudsman

Mississauga (14 December, 2011) --- Ontario’s Ombudsman today issued a follow-up report to a 2008 investigation his office conducted into the Special Investigations Unit’s operational effectiveness and credibility.

The September 2008 report consisted of forty-six recommendations to promote greater independence and integrity in the SIU’s investigations; twenty-five of those were addressed directly to the SIU. Today, André Marin said:

• "Based on my review to date, I am satisfied that the SIU has made significant strides to reorient its operations…"

• "The SIU is something Ontarians can be proud of."

• "It is quite apparent that Director Scott’s goal is to generally enhance the integrity of SIU investigations and contribute to greater overall accountability and public confidence in policing."

• "Openness should be the default position for reporting on the results of investigations relating to serious injuries and deaths … Today, [Director Scott’s] office issues press releases in all death cases, as well as many others."

Director Scott commented, "As with any organization, there is always room for improvement. We took the Ombudsman’s recommendations seriously, and feel that today, the SIU is even better at serving the needs of the public.

"The citizens of Ontario are fortunate to have both the SIU and the Ombudsman’s office. Both of these organizations strengthen the accountability of public institutions; the SIU by conducting criminal investigations into incidents involving police where there has been serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault; and the Ombudsman’s office by investigating complaints about government services."

Today’s report, titled "Oversight of police: Oversight Undermined," focuses on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s implementation of recommendations outlined in the 2008 Ombudsman report. In today’s report, Mr. Marin reiterated a number of those recommendations aimed at the Ministry and the Government of Ontario. Many of these focus on the need for legislative reform.

Director Scott said, "I thank the Ombudsman for bringing these issues to the public’s attention. As Mr. Marin states in his report, ‘The citizens of Ontario deserve a strong civilian oversight body capable of inspiring confidence.’ I look forward to working with the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Government of Ontario in implementing the Ombudsman’s recommendations in order to facilitate a more independent oversight body."

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342