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Chapter 3

SOSC 2652 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Indictable Offence, Crown Attorney, Summary Offence

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 2652
Anna Pratt

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Chapter 3 + 4
Although police forces have rigorous standards for admission to a career in policing, this
does not prevent some police officers from engaging in unprofessional and even illegal
conduct while on the job
Police deviance occurs more often on an individual basis than an organizational level
Police Accountability
Police are accountable through several means
Political accountability- to governing authorities
Legal accountability- Law through the courts and judiciary
Accountability to administrative agencies- comlaints commissions, human rights
commissions, provincial police commissions, auditors general, and ombudsmen
Direct publc accountability- through mechanisms such as freedom of information
Ad hoc accountability- through processes such as royal commisiions and other public
Chapter 4
Police Power and decision making
One of the key issues in the study of policing is how much power officers should have,
and what type
The limits of those powers are established by the decisions of the courts
Charter Rights and Police Powers
The Charter gave those accused the right to challenge the actions of the police in
situations in which those rights might have been violated
Charter rights combine with preexisting legal rules to prevent the unlimited use of police
Safeguards against unlimited police power
The police cannot use certain investigative techniques (such as electronic surveillance)
without prior judicial authorization
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If the police gather evidence illegally, it may be excluded from a trial
A defendant who feels that police officers or prosecutors have used unfair tactics can
plead not guilty and cite “abuse of process” as a defence
A judge can remedy a violation of a defendant’s rights by ordering a stay of proceedings
or by ordering the Crown attorney to pay some or all of the defendant’s legal fees
Police also gained powers under the Anti-Terrorism Act
Use a warrant to obtain DNA from a suspect, by force if necessary
Obtain a variety of warrants to intercept private audio and video communications
Run “reverse stings” (For example, sell drugs as part of an undercover operation and
then seize both the money and the drugs)
Obtain foot, palm, and teeth impressions from a suspect
Powers and authority of the police have also been restricted by the decisions of judges in
Charter cases
All relevant information gathered must be disclosed to the defence authority
Police officers must give notice by knocking had been replaced by a warrant procedure
Warrantless searches have been deemed unreasonable
Restricitons on undercover police officers in jail to get evidence
The power to Arrest and Detain
The power to arrest is provided by the Criminal Code and other federal statutes as well
as by provincial legislation such as motor vehicle statutes
If arrest is warranted and there is time a police officer can seek an arrest warrant by
swearing an information in front of a JP
Arrest Warrant- a document that permist a police officer to arrest a specific person for a
specified reason
Information- A written statement sworn by an informant alleging that a person has
committed a specific criminal offense
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