For Immediate Release
February 7, 2017
Canadian Police Association Supports S-217
OTTAWA – Canadian Police Association (CPA) President Tom Stamatakis today offered his full support for Senate Public Bill S-217 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (detention in custody), introduced by Ontario Senator Bob Runciman, important legislation that may have helped save the life of murdered RCMP Constable David Wynn.
“Allowing prosecutors to introduce evidence of an accused’s criminal history during a bail hearing is just common sense,” said Mr. Stamatakis. “This legislation doesn’t remove the discretion that judges can use when granting bail, it just means that those judges will have all the relevant facts at hand when they make those decisions.”
S-217 makes two amendments to the Criminal Code, allowing prosecutors to introduce evidence during bail hearings if the accused has failed to appear in court on previous occasions, and whether the accused has been previously convicted of an offence, or is awaiting trial on other charges.
“From a front-line police perspective, it’s unconscionable that a few high-risk offenders are sometimes able to exploit these loopholes in the criminal justice system, and find themselves back on the streets,” said Mr. Stamatakis. “The worst-case scenario, as we saw in January 2015, is when one of these very same offenders murders RCMP Constable David Wynn, leaving behind a grieving family. We may not be able to prevent every tragedy, but we may have prevented this one.”
“I hope all Members of Parliament, across party lines, will take the time to carefully consider S-217 on its merits. Giving judges as much relevant information as possible will help us protect our communities from these dangerous repeat offenders.”
The Canadian Police Association (CPA) is the national voice for over 60,000 police personnel across Canada. Membership includes police personnel serving in 160 police services across Canada, from Canada's smallest towns and villages as well as those working in our largest municipal and provincial police services, and members of the RCMP, railway police, and first nations’ police personnel.
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