The Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) released its highly anticipated new policy on street checks on Wednesday morning, months after an independent report found evidence of systematic profiling within the police force.
The 2019 report showed that SPVM officers are more likely to stop racialized groups during street checks, regardless of if a crime had been committed or not.
Until now, the SPVM had no prior policy that dictates how street checks should be conducted.
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The new policy — which according to the SPVM, “establishes clear guidelines to prevent any baseless or random inquiry” — sets forth a new set of rules that all Montreal police officers must follow. Officers will now need to inform citizens what motives lead to a stop and that all street checks must now be based on “observational facts.”
According to Police Chief Sylvain Caron, the SPVM have become the first police force in Quebec to enforce a new policy.
Le #SPVM présente sa Politique sur les interpellations policières. Elle vient établir qu’une interpellation doit être fondée obligatoirement sur des faits
observables et sans motifs discriminatoires.
— Police Montréal (@SPVM) July 8, 2020
The policy will require SPVM officers to collect detailed information including a citizen’s race after they are stopped and questioned during the checks.
Caron says the new policy will go into effect this fall after all SPVM personnel get trained on the new guidelines and once the computer systems have been updated.