August 7, 2013Dear Chief Blair,We have had another look at updated contact card and arrest data Through an FOI, werequested the updated data, which covers 2008 to end of 2012. As we did the last time,we have prepared a summary (attached) of our preliminary findings. We hope to meetwith you to discuss the findings sometime soon.We have looked at both the CIPS data, as we did in 2002 and 2010 and 2012, and thecontact card — or street check — data, as we did in 2010 and 2012. New this time:
: A look at contact cards by officer, unit, platoon and area. Due to datalimitations, it was not previously possible to look at this over time. A standarddeviation analysis of street checks by officer — controlling for unit, platoon and patrol area — shows there are more than 500 officers with proportionately higher ratios of contacts cards, by particular skin colours, when compared to peer benchmarks. Interestingly, there are officers with higher ratios in each of the four skin colour categories, and some with higher ratios in more than one skin colour category. Internal benchmarking is a tool used by other services in flagging potential problems. We would like to hear from you on why groups of officerscard at significantly higher rates for people with a certain skin colour than their peers. We’d also like to know if the service looks at carding by skin colour for individual officers, and, if not, would the service have any interest in doing so.
Where people live
: An analysis of where people who are carded live, versuswhere they were carded. Police analysts, as per our request, added data fields thatindicate home city, and where the home city is Toronto, also a home patrol zone.We have found that half of the people documented between 2008 and 2012 werestopped and questioned in their home patrol zone or in a zone that was close(within 5 kms) to their home patrol zone. We’d like to re-visit the question of whether you believe it may be possible that police in certain areas havedocumented every young person of colour who lives there.
No skin colour noted
: We’re noticing that the number of street checks where noskin colour is noted is rising. We’d like to hear your thoughts on why this ishappening.
Carding on the rise
: Between 2008 and end of 2012, the number of street checkshas increased 23 per cent. Given all of the critical attention the practice hasreceived and with an internal review of police operations underway and changescoming, we would like to hear your thoughts on what will change with regards tocarding, or street checks, now known as community inquiry reports.
An officer’s take
: A former Toronto police officer who recently left the servicehas provided us with his views on street checks and how and why they areconducted. To summarize, he sees them as both necessary in some circumstances,