Canadian Police Routinely Suppress Racial Data: Study

Douglas Quan, Canada, February 1, 2012

Many Canadian police agencies “actively suppress” racial data when delivering their annual crime reports to Ottawa—a trend that is both disturbing and growing, according to a study released Wednesday.

The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, said the continued “whitewashing” of criminal data makes it virtually impossible for researchers to gauge whether police are dealing with racial and ethnic minority groups in an equitable manner.

“Community relationships are so important for policing. If you want to develop better relationships, show you’re working on issues these communities are concerned about,” said lead author Paul Millar, an assistant professor of criminology at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont., in an interview. “Be accountable.”

Police agencies gave several reasons Wednesday for why they don’t collect or report racial characteristics of the people they come in contact with.

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox said asking a victim or accused person to identify their race “may give rise to human rights and privacy concerns.”

Officers could also be put in the position of contravening the force’s “bias-free policing” policy, he said.

Acting Insp. Cathy Bell, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Provincial Police, said her force strives to be sensitive to all cultures and races and that collecting racial data is not seen as relevant to the force’s programs and operations.

The federal Department of Justice, however, has previously judged that such data collection could be helpful for policy development and statistical purposes.

The reluctance to collect and share the data may have more to do with public relations concerns, Millar said.

“They don’t want to be perceived to be racist, to be blunt,” he said.

The study notes that Canadian research has shown that black people are pulled over more often than other groups and that aboriginals are over-represented in prisons.

One possible explanation is that racial minorities are socially disadvantaged, putting them at greater risk of involvement in crime, the study says. But another possibility is systemic discrimination by police based on race.

In order to get to the bottom of why over-representation exists, there needs to be a systematic collection and reporting of racial data, the study says.

“Police services are mandated to provide equitable services. Without race-based data we cannot tell if this is being done or not,” said co-author Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, a doctoral candidate in criminology at the University of Toronto, in an interview.

The study found that when police agencies report crime data to the Centre for Criminal Justice Statistics, the majority—about 80 per cent—do not release racial data in practice and about 20 per cent don’t do so as an official policy.

And when race is reported, it’s limited to aboriginals. While aboriginal is an important racial category, other categories—such as black—may be of greater interest in some areas, such as Toronto or Halifax, the authors write.

In November 2010, Toronto’s police services board passed a policy permitting the force to collect and report statistics related to race, ethnicity and other characteristics.

But Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash said Wednesday the force’s position is that the collection of such data is not seen as beneficial or appropriate at this time.

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  • Equitable services? That should mean anyone pulled over for not having insurance or license gets treated the same . The fact that illegals rarely have either means they get arrested/impounded more.

  • Anonymous

    I personally wish that our neighbors to the North would do a better job of keeping their house in order, if only because once life in the US becomes untenable (which it already has for many) Canada would seem like an ideal place for emigration.

  • The US media does the same thing,  they will gladly demonize whites if it means enhancing the image of blacks.  For example,  the producers of the TV show COPS admitted that they go out of their way to feature white criminals on their show.

    • Anonymous

      They absolutely LOVE Pierce County, WA for just this reason.  It’s full of White drunks and meth addicts.  Notice you don’t ever see Seattle PD on that show anymore.  You did in the early days when Seattle had a big gang problem and they hadn’t been seized by PC yet.  The gangs are coming back to Sea-town again, but don’t expect to see SPD on COPS.  You’ll only see them on the national news when they “stomp the Mexican piss” out of illegal alien criminals, and La Raza wails about it.  

      (It never was reported that said Mexican who was nearly stomped free of piss actually did commit the crime of which he was accused, but I doubt that surprises anyone here.)

    • Anonymous

       I wonder how A&E has gone this long without mass protests, their show ‘The First 48’ is likely the most factual of the documentaries out there……it is just too easy to predict the outcome of their shows…..

      • Anonymous

        The difference between that show and COPS is that it’s easy to just ignore all the Black crime and focus on White drug use.

        But when it comes to murder, if they only showed murders committed by Whites they would be hard-pressed to come up with enough episodes in a season.

      • dr. foop

        ‘Hardcore pawn’ or any show about ‘border/passport control’, of which there are a few – will display amazingly stark views of what blacks, muslims, and general third worlders are up to. I’m not sure how they are getting away with it without a PC backlash.

  • Anonymous

    “The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, said the continued “whitewashing” of criminal data makes it virtually impossible for researchers to gauge whether police are dealing with racial and ethnic minority groups in an equitable manner.”

    So what we have here is a PC versus PC conflict. Don’t collect race data lest minority criminality be exposed. Collect race data to expose “racist” police practice. Pretty hilarious.

  • I truly feel badly for our white Canadian neighbors.  Just as I feel badly for the American white.  But feeling badly does not erase the sheer lunacy of what they or we have done or allowed to be done to both of what were former paradises.  Now, we both are in denial that our world of multculturalism is  such a benefit that we can’t even admit to the crimes and adversity that it has caused. So now what?  We know that there are large numbers of resident races that hate us and wish our countries ill and this is after we have given and are giving them so much.  Add to that a large percentage of the white population that have been brainwashed into white-guilt behavior.  We have even greater problems than the reporting of racial attacks against white people.  This is something that we know that has been happening for decades and is worsening.  The scandal is what are we going to do about it.  Are we as white owners of our respective countries willing to just sit back until we are flooded with non-white immigrants or wait for the inevitable overbreeding to crush our futures?  That is the real question that we will soon be faced with answering.

  • Anonymous

    Next time you’re out driving around, try and see if you can actually single out a vehicle and determine the race of its occupants through smoke-colored glass and a combined speed of no less than 50 mph.  It’s impossible.  You have to already be looking for some other reason, like there are clouds of skunk-smelling smoke pouring from the windows.

    Of course I suppose you have to grant that a purple Caprice with 26″ wagon wheels is pretty much a dead giveaway…

  • B

    “One possible explanation is that racial minorities are socially disadvantaged, putting them at greater risk of involvement in crime, the study says. But another possibility is systemic discrimination by police based on race.”
     
    They forgot to mention a third possibility –  due to their gentics, they are  more prone to engage in anti-social criminal behaviors.

  • Anonymous

    The study, published in the Canadian Journal of Law and Society, said the continued “whitewashing” of criminal data makes it virtually impossible for researchers to gauge whether police are dealing with racial and ethnic minority groups in an equitable manner.

    Another example of damned if you do, damned if you don’t when dealing with minorities.

    Minorities complain the numbers make them look bad because they are over represented in crime statistics. Then they complain that because the police don’t report race, they can’t know how bad the problem really is.  

    • Anonymous

      These “minorities” – I use quotes, because Orientals and people from India do fine, thank you – do not want people to know about their high crime rates. Nevertheless, they do want people to know about how “under represented” they are in universities and the professions so they can complain about discrimination, and demand affirmative action policies. Affirmative action policies amount to discrimination against racial groups that behave and perform adequately.  

  • Anonymous

    One possible explanation is that racial minorities are socially disadvantaged, putting them at greater risk of involvement in crime, the study says. But another possibility is systemic discrimination by police based on race.

    Another possibility is that they disproportionately adopt a life of crime.

    • Anonymous

      A third possibility is that more of them have a genetic predisposition to engage in crime. 

  • Anonymous

    To be effective job training programs need to begin with mental aptitude tests in order to determine who is capable of learning the skills and who is not. These tests will tend to discriminate against disadvantaged youths, not because they are socially deprived, but because they are less intelligent. 

  • Anonymous

    People have the right to know which kinds of people behave and perform adequately, and which kinds tend not to. There should not be any taboos and sanctions against telling and speaking the truth. 

  • Anonymous

    This is of no surprise.
    Anywhere that diversity is strength, no differences in races, etc. is being pushed there is always going to be some “fudging” of the truth whether thru omission or blatant deceit.