Peel Police community survey part of effort to tackle systemic racism, discrimination in policing

Peel Regional Police, Peel Police Services Board, Ontario Human Rights Commission developed survey

Peel Police community survey part of effort to tackle systemic racism, discrimination in policing

The Peel Regional Police (PRP), the Peel Police Services Board (PPSB) and the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) have developed a survey, which is open until Sept. 30, asking for community feedback on experiences with and perceptions of the PRP.

The OHRC and its chief commissioner, Patricia DeGuire, continue with their collaborative efforts with the PRP and the PPSB pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached last year. The MOU’s parties acknowledge the importance of hearing from and working alongside Black, racialized and Indigenous communities to develop proper ways to deal with systemic racism in policing in Peel Region.

The parties of the MOU seek to tackle systemic racism and discrimination in policing and to develop and implement legally-binding remedies that will deal with structural changes, the role of policing, policy and procedural changes, accountability and monitoring.

The seven key principles in the OHRC’s policy on addressing racial profiling in law enforcement are meant to guide these remedies. These principles include active and regular engagement with diverse Indigenous and racialized communities to receive honest and open feedback on the lived experience of racial profiling and effective approaches for dealing with this issue.

The OHRC urged those residing or working in the region to take the confidential and anonymous survey. The OHRC has long called attention to issues regarding the use of force by police and its effects on Black communities, including in its recent provincial framework for change that aimed to tackle systemic racism in policing.

“Peel Regional Police is at a critical juncture in the work to improve relationships and restore trust with the community,” said DeGuire in a news release. “The OHRC remains committed to collaborating with PRP and its Board to pursue transformational changes that will improve outcomes for members of Black, Indigenous and other racialized communities across Ontario.”

The 2020 PRP Corporate Risk Management Report provided data demonstrating that Black individuals have been grossly overrepresented in incidents involving police use of force in Peel Region last year, which shows the urgency of the collaborative work of the OHRC, the PRP and the PPSB to promote the systemic changes required to eliminate racism and discrimination in policing.

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