Community

New tools to help police monitor ‘high-risk’ offenders on bail

York Regional Police (YRP) will receive $2.4 million from the provincial government to fund two projects focused on preventing repeat and violent offenders from committing serious crimes while out on bail.

In total, the province will invest $24 million over three years in the Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension (BCWA) Grant program to help 17 municipal police services, four First Nations police services and 12 Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) service establish dedicated bail compliance and/or warrant apprehension teams to monitor high-risk individuals.

“It is unacceptable that repeat and violent offenders are committing serious crimes while out on bail,” Solicitor General Michael Kerzner says. “By giving police the tools they need to track and arrest offenders who violate their bail conditions, our government is helping to ensure Ontario is one of the safest jurisdictions in Canada.”

The BCWA Grant program is part of a $112 million investment to strengthen the province’s bail system and ensure high-risk and repeat violent offenders comply with their bail conditions. Other measures include creating a Bail Compliance Unit within the OPP’s Repeat Offender Parole Enforcement Squad, establishing an Intensive Serious Violent Crime Bail Teams within the court system, and creating a new provincewide bail compliance dashboard to help monitor high-risk offenders.

“For years, members have been raising issues with Canada’s bail framework and how it was failing to prioritize the safety of our communities,” says Mark Baxter, president of the Police Association of Ontario, which represents more than 28,000 police officers across 45 communities.

“The Government of Ontario’s continued support for increased bail compliance and monitoring will allow police to better ensure violent offenders out on bail are unable to commit further crimes and allow officers to continue to keep our communities safe.”

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