Mississauga, Brampton cops push Trudeau for help keeping violent offenders off the streets

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Published February 1, 2023 at 3:33 pm

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Police in Mississauga and Brampton are taking their plea to keep high-risk, violent offenders off the streets all the way to Ottawa.

Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah and Peel Police Services Board (PSB) Chair Ron Chatha have written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provided a submission to Ontario’s Standing Committee on Justice Policy calling for changes to bail and judicial interim release decisions for violent and chronic offenders.

The plea from the top ranks of Peel police comes in the wake of an attempted armed break-in at a Mississauga business this past Sunday. Two of four people charged in the incident, which unfolded at a Clarkson and Lakeshore Rds. area business at about 3 p.m., had failed to adhere to bail conditions previously imposed on them.

Duraiappah said in the wake of the violent incident that it was avoidable and, furthermore, points to a pressing need for bail reform.

In their letter, the police chief and PSB chair have requested an immediate re-evaluation of the bail system’s public safety considerations.

Over the years, they wrote, Peel has seen high-risk, violent offenders released back into the community, “who then await their trials for extended periods due to backlogs in the criminal justice system.”

In a news release today (Feb. 1), a Peel police spokesperson said both the force and Mississauga and Brampton residents over the years “…have witnessed the violent and tragic, yet preventable, outcomes of criminal acts committed by repeat offenders ignoring conditions of their release.”

Peel police and the PSB say they support amendments to the Criminal Code “that expand reverse onus offences to address chronic, violent offenders, such as those charged with illegal firearm possession and intimate partner violence where there are prior offences committed to intimidate, threaten or cause fear to an intimate partner, regardless of the use of violence.”

They’re also calling on Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General to work closely with federal counterparts to ensure policies, guidelines and directives are appropriately coordinated to reflect legislative changes.

“Our service firmly believes that greater weight must be provided to public safety considerations on the assessment of whether to consent to or oppose bail,” the Peel police spokesperson said in the news release, adding it’s a complex issue in which all levels of government and policing must work together to address.

Meanwhile, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said earlier on Wednesday that he has met with the Province’s attorney general and solicitor general about ways to “support” the bail system, The Canadian Press reports.

Ford and the other premiers have been calling on the federal government to initiate bail reform, including creating a reverse onus on bail for people accused of certain firearm offences under the Criminal Code.

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