Police get new powers to investigate missing person cases

By: Surjit Singh Flora

When a loved one goes missing, swift action is critical. That’s why the Ontario Government is putting people’s safety first by providing frontline police officers in Peel with more tools to respond quickly to missing person investigations.

Nina Tangri Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and MPP Mississauga—Streetsville

MISSISSAUGA — On August 8, 2019, Peel Regional Police Interim Chief Chris McCord along with MPP Nina Tangri Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economic Development and MPP Mississauga—Streetsville and Parliamentary Assistant, Christine Hogarth, Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General (Community Safety) provides an overview on the Missing Persons Act, proclaimed by the government on July 1, 2019, provides police with three additional tools to use when there is no evidence a crime has been committed.

Families and loved ones also no longer have to wait out 24 hours before contacting police if they fear someone is missing and are concerned for their safety and well-being

“Police and family members tell us that the first hours after someone goes missing are the most critical,” said Christine Hogarth, “That’s why we’re providing our frontline heroes with more tools to find our loved ones.”

Parliamentary Assistant, Christine Hogarth, Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General (Community Safety)

The three additional tools to use when there is no evidence a crime has been committed. These will allow police to:

• Obtain copies of records that may assist in a search;

• Obtain a court order to allow entry into a premise to search for a missing person; and

• Make an urgent demand for records without a court order in certain urgent circumstances.

The act sets out tests to obtain court authorization for access to records or search warrants, and to execute urgent demands for records. It requires police and the courts to consider privacy issues and whether there is evidence that the person does not wish to be located. The act also includes guidelines on what information police may disclose about a missing person before and after they have been located.

Chief Chris McCord, Peel Regional Police

“Peel Regional Police receive more than 2,000 missing person reports every year,” said Chief Chris McCord, Peel Regional Police. “The government’s changes to the Missing Persons Act will provide officers with additional tools to assist in investigations and bolster our ability to locate missing loved ones in a timely fashion.”

Previously, when a person went missing without evidence of criminal activity, police were limited in the ways they could investigate. This legislation allows police to respond to missing person investigations rapidly while balancing concerns for an individual’s privacy.

“Ensuring the safety and security of the people in our government’s most fundamental responsibility,” said Nina Tangri, Member of Provincial Parliament for Mississauga- Streetsville. “We are committed to ensuring that police in Peel and across Ontario have what they need to protect the public and put justice for victims and the center of everything they do.”

In Ontario, there is an alternate procedure for police examinations concerning missing children. One of the cops’ fundamental devices is an AMBER Alert, which can be issued in certain pressing cases to reach Ontarians over the region with an end goal to help police find missing kids. As of late, we have heard reports that the open is utilizing 9-1-1 as a stage to gripe about Amber Alert notices.

Griping about getting an Amber Alert is something other than heartless – it’s risky.

Individuals who use 9-1-1 as an objection’s hotline are taking up basic crisis assets. At the point when a child disappears, we as a whole have a task to carry out. Numerous youngsters have been situated as an immediate consequence of Amber Alerts – yet it possibly works if everybody gets these cautions. The primary concern is basic: a missing child is a crisis. That is the reason I keep on asking people not to squander our crisis assets to grumble about this basic device.

About the author

Asia Metro Editor

Surjit Singh Flora
editor@asiametro.ca

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