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Arrest Warrants Issued By Kawartha Lakes Police Service Have Almost Tripled In The Past Year

KAWARTHA LAKES-The number of arrest warrants executed by Kawartha Lakes Police Service has almost tripled over the past year.

In the first two months of 2024 officers executed 115 arrest warrants. That’s a sharp increase from that same time frame last year when 40 arrest warrants were executed.

Chief Mark Mitchell told Kawartha 411 News several factors have impacted the increase.

“The Supreme Court of Canada decision (R v Antic) in 2017, resulted in more accused being released into the community, either by the police or bail courts, instead of being detained in custody while their charges are before the courts,” Mitchell explained. “With more people released into the community, there has been an increase in individuals either failing to appear for court as required or failing to abide with another condition of their release.”

In fact, KLPS has seen a 47% increase in charges for people who failed to attend court in the past year.

“Each one of those cases creates a workload for our court liaison staff who prepare the charge file, and our uniform officers who have to locate the individual and execute the warrant.” said Mitchell.

Police laid an average of 153 criminal charges per month in 2023. Mitchel says a significant portion of those charges are what he would describe as “administration of justice” offences for people who “fail to appear for court or fail to abide by one or more of their release conditions”.

The issue of bail reform has been receiving a lot of public attention recently.  In January the provincial government announced it is investing $24 million over three years to help prevent repeat and violent offenders from committing serious crimes while out on bail. The investment is being delivered through the Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension (BCWA) Grant program and will help police services establish dedicated bail compliance and/or warrant apprehension teams to monitor high-risk individuals. It will also support new technology for a provincewide bail compliance monitoring system.

KLPS has received $417,673 in funding from BCWA for dedicated resources to enhance the monitoring of people who are on some form of judicial release. The funding has allowed the service to hire one additional officer for the next two years.

The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police welcomed the additional funding.

“Violent crimes committed by repeat offenders and individuals released on bail pose a significant risk to public and officer safety. The alarming level of re-offending, especially violence towards police in the execution of their duties, drives home the need for change. The Bail Compliance and Warrant Apprehension (BCWA) Grant program will enhance monitoring and tracking of those out on bail who pose the highest risk of committing further criminal acts and make our communities safer. Everyone in the Province can get behind that.” stated Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie, 1st Vice-President Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police.

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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