Regulated Interactions

Street Checks

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On March 22, 2016, the Province of Ontario announced major changes for street checks.

Ontario Regulation 58/16, called "Collection of Identifying Information in Certain Circumstances - Prohibition and Duties," provides new rules for voluntary police-public interactions which are designed to ensure that regulated interactions, commonly referred to as street checks, are conducted by police without bias or discrimination. 

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police created a special working group to develop shared approaches to the mandatory requirements of the new regulations to ensure consistent implementation across the province. 

Inspector Jim Elves continues as the OPS lead for this important work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the new rules?

When do the new rules apply? Are there exceptions?

How will officers be trained on the new rules?

How will this collected data be protected and reported?

 

Photo Gallery: Regulated Interactions will appear here on the public site.

 

What are the new rules?

If a police officer asks you for identifying information (ID) in a situation when the rules apply, they must:

  • have a reason, which cannot be:
    • based on race
    • arbitrary 
    • only because you are in a high-crime area
    • because you refused to answer a question or walked away
    • tell you why they want your identifying information
    • tell you that you can refuse to give identifying information
    • offer you a receipt - even if you refuse to share information - that includes:
      • the officer's name
      • the officer's badge number
      • how to contact the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which handles complaints about police in Ontario
      • who to contact to access personal information about you that the police service has on file.
    • keep detailed records of their interaction with you - even if you refuse to share information

Public education information, including a poster and fact sheet, are available at Ontario.ca/streetchecks.

When do the new rules apply? Are there exceptions?

The new rules apply if an officer asks you to identify yourself when they are:

  • looking into suspicious activities
  • gathering intelligence
  • investigating general criminal activity in the community

The new rules do not apply if the officer is:

  • talking to a driver during a traffic stop
  • arresting or detaining you
  • executing a warrant
  • investigating a specific crime

In rare cases, if following the rules could negatively affect an investigation, threaten public safety, or force officers to reveal confidential information, police officers may not have to:

  • tell you why they are asking for information - for example, the reason involves a tip from a confidential informant;
  • tell you that you have the right to refuse giving ID - for example, the officer suspects a car passenger may be a victim of human trafficking;
  • give you a receipt from the interaction - for example, the officer receives an urgent call for service and must quickly end the interaction.

How will officers be trained on the new rules?

Officers who collect ID are required to take eight hours of training developed by provincial subject matter experts and the Ontario Police College (6 hours of in-class training plus two-hours of online training) on the new rules, which also includes topics such as individual rights, unlawful detention, discrimination, and bias awareness.

How will this collected data be protected and reported? 

Identifying information collected under the new rules must be restricted five years after being entered. 

Police services must produce and share an annual report with the public that includes:

  • information about how many times officers tried to collect ID
  • how often police relied on exemptions from the rules
  • demographics (age, sex, race) about the people police tried to collect ID from    

Contact us:

Email us with feedback or questions specific to the Ottawa Police Service.  

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