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Community Safety and Policing Act, 2019

ONTARIO REGULATION 397/23

VEHICLE PURSUITS

Consolidation Period: From December 18, 2023 to the e-Laws currency date.

Note: THIS REGULATION IS NOT YET IN FORCE. It comes into force on April 1, 2024, the day paragraph 35 of subsection 261 (1) of Schedule 1 to the Comprehensive Ontario Police Services Act, 2019 comes into force.

No amendments.

This is the English version of a bilingual regulation.

Interpretation

Interpretation

1. In this Regulation,

“criminal offence” means an offence under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) or the Cannabis Act (Canada); (“infraction criminelle”)

“Niagara Parks” means Parks as defined in the Niagara Parks Act; (“parcs du Niagara”)

“Niagara Parks constable” means a special constable employed by the Niagara Parks Commission; (“agent des parcs du Niagara”)

“non-criminal offence” means an offence under a law of Ontario or Canada, other than a criminal offence; (“infraction non criminelle”)

“vehicle pursuit” means a pursuit that occurs when a police officer or Niagara Parks constable pursues, in a motor vehicle, another motor vehicle that the officer or constable had attempted to stop but that failed to stop and remain in place; (“poursuite en véhicule”)

“vehicle pursuit procedures” means,

(a) in the case of a member of the Ontario Provincial Police, a chief of police of any other police service or an employee of a police service board who is under the direction of a chief of police, the procedures established under section 4 for the officer’s police service,

(b) in the case of a police officer who is appointed under Part II of the Interprovincial Policing Act, 2009, the procedures established under section 4 of this Regulation for the police service of the local commander who was notified of the officer’s appointment under subsection 6 (1) of that Act,

(c) in the case of a police officer who is appointed under Part III of the Interprovincial Policing Act, 2009, the procedures established under section 4 of this Regulation for the police service of the local commander who appointed the officer, or

(d) in the case of a Niagara Parks constable, the procedures established and approved under section 4 for the Niagara Parks Police Service. (“procédure relative aux poursuites en véhicule”)

Vehicle Pursuits, General Requirements

Initiating, continuing and discontinuing vehicle pursuits

2. (1) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall not initiate or continue a vehicle pursuit unless,

(a) the officer or constable has reason to believe that,

(i) a criminal offence has been committed or is about to be committed, and

(ii) stopping the motor vehicle is necessary to apprehend an individual in connection with the offence or to prevent the commission of the offence; or

(b) the purpose of the pursuit is to identify the motor vehicle or an individual inside the motor vehicle.

(2) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall not initiate a vehicle pursuit unless the officer or constable has first determined that,

(a) the vehicle pursuit is permitted under subsection (1);

(b) there are no alternatives set out in the vehicle pursuit procedures that can readily be implemented in the circumstances; and

(c) the risk to public safety that may result from the pursuit is outweighed by the risk to public safety that may result if,

(i) an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not immediately apprehended, or

(ii) the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not identified.

(3) Despite subsections (1) and (2), a police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall not initiate a vehicle pursuit for a non-criminal offence if the identity of an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is known.

(4) During a vehicle pursuit, a police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall continually reassess the determination of the risk to public safety made under subsection (2).

(5) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall discontinue a vehicle pursuit if,

(a) due to a change in circumstances, the vehicle pursuit ceases to be permitted under subsection (1);

(b) in the case of a vehicle pursuit for a non-criminal offence, the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is identified; or

(c) the officer or constable subsequently determines that the risk to public safety that may result from continuing the pursuit is no longer outweighed by the risk to public safety that would result if either of the circumstances described in subclause (2) (c) (i) or (ii) occurs.

(6) For greater certainty, a vehicle pursuit is discontinued for the purposes of this Regulation when police officers or Niagara Parks constables are no longer pursuing a fleeing motor vehicle for the purpose of stopping the fleeing motor vehicle or identifying the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle.

Policies and Procedures

Policies

3. The Minister and every police service board shall establish policies that are consistent with this Regulation about vehicle pursuits.

Vehicle pursuit procedures

4. (1) Every chief of police shall establish procedures that set out the following tactics that may be used in the relevant police service’s area of policing responsibility:

1. Tactics that may be used as an alternative to a vehicle pursuit.

2. Tactics for pursuing or stopping a fleeing motor vehicle.

(2) Every chief of police shall establish procedures that are consistent with this Regulation about vehicle pursuits in the relevant police service’s area of policing responsibility.

(3) The chief of the Niagara Parks Police Service shall, in consultation with the chief of police of the Niagara Regional Police Service, establish procedures respecting the tactics listed in subsection (1) that may be used by the Niagara Parks Police Service in Niagara Parks.

(4) The procedures described in subsection (3) must be submitted to the Niagara Regional Police Service Board for approval.

(5) The chief of the Niagara Parks Police Service shall establish procedures that are consistent with this Regulation about vehicle pursuits in Niagara Parks.

Other procedures

5. (1) Every chief of police shall establish procedures on the management and control of vehicle pursuits.

(2) The procedures described in subsection (1) must,

(a) identify the supervisor with decision-making responsibility for the pursuit;

(b) set out the responsibilities of police officers, dispatchers, communications supervisors and road supervisors; and

(c) describe the equipment that is available for implementing alternative tactics.

(3) The chief of the Niagara Parks Police Service shall, in consultation with the chief of police of the Niagara Regional Police Service, establish procedures on the management and control of vehicle pursuits in Niagara Parks.

(4) The procedures described in subsection (3) must,

(a) identify the supervisor with decision-making responsibility for the pursuit;

(b) set out the responsibilities of Niagara Parks constables, dispatchers, communications supervisors and road supervisors;

(c) describe the equipment that is available for implementing alternative tactics; and

(d) identify the member of the Niagara Regional Police Service that shall be notified of a pursuit by a Niagara Parks special constable under section 8.

(5) The procedures described in subsection (3) must be submitted to the Niagara Regional Police Service Board for approval.

Supervision

6. (1) If more than one police service is involved in a vehicle pursuit, the supervisor from the police service with policing responsibility for the area in which the pursuit begins has decision-making responsibility for the pursuit.

(2) The supervisor may hand over decision-making responsibility to a supervisor from another police service involved in the pursuit.

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) apply in respect of the Niagara Parks Police service as if it were a police service and as if the Niagara Parks were its area of policing responsibility.

Conduct of Vehicle Pursuits

Pursuit in unmarked police motor vehicle

7. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a police officer shall not engage in a vehicle pursuit unless the officer is in a marked police motor vehicle.

(2) A police officer may engage in a vehicle pursuit in an unmarked police motor vehicle if,

(a) a marked police motor vehicle is not readily available; and

(b) the police officer believes that it is necessary to immediately apprehend an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle or to identify the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle.

(3) A Niagara Parks constable shall not engage in a vehicle pursuit unless the constable is in a patrol vehicle that is marked in accordance with section 6 of Ontario Regulation 396/23 (Matters Respecting the Appointment and Functions of Special Constables and the Authorization of Special Constable Employers) made under the Act.

Notice of pursuit

8. (1) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall notify a dispatcher when the officer or constable initiates a vehicle pursuit.

(2) The dispatcher shall notify the supervisor identified in the procedures referred to in section 5 that a vehicle pursuit has been initiated.

(3) In the case of a pursuit initiated by a Niagara Parks constable, the dispatcher shall also notify the member of the Niagara Regional Police Service identified in the procedures referred to in section 5 that a vehicle pursuit has been initiated.

Order to discontinue pursuit

9. (1) The supervisor referred to in subsection 8 (2) shall order police officers or Niagara Parks Constables, as the case may be, to discontinue a vehicle pursuit if, in the opinion of the supervisor, the risk to public safety that may result from the pursuit outweighs the risk to public safety that may result if an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not immediately apprehended or if the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not identified.

(2) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable who receives an order under subsection (1) shall obey the order.

Use of firearm

10. A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall not discharge a firearm for the sole purpose of attempting to stop a fleeing motor vehicle.

Stopping a motor vehicle

11. (1) During a vehicle pursuit, a police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall consider the tactics for stopping a motor vehicle as set out in the vehicle pursuit procedures.

(2) A police officer or Niagara Parks constable shall not intentionally cause a motor vehicle to come into physical contact with a fleeing motor vehicle, except in the following circumstances:

1. The purpose of the manoeuvre is to stop the fleeing motor vehicle and the officer or constable, after having assessed the effect of the manoeuvre on the safety of other individuals, believes on reasonable grounds that the manoeuvre is necessary to immediately protect against loss of life or serious bodily harm.

2. The purpose of the manoeuvre is to pin the motor vehicle where,

i. the driver of the motor vehicle has lost control of the vehicle or collided with an object, causing the vehicle to come to a stop, and

ii. the driver continues to try and use the motor vehicle to flee.

(3) Nothing in subsection (2) precludes police officers or Niagara Parks constables involved in a vehicle pursuit, with assistance from other police officers or Niagara Parks constables in motor vehicles, from attempting to safely position the police motor vehicles in a manner to prevent the movement either forward, backward or sideways of a fleeing motor vehicle.

Miscellaneous

Application of code of conduct

12. A police officer or Niagara Parks constable does not breach their applicable code of conduct when deciding not to initiate or choosing to discontinue a vehicle pursuit because the police officer or constable has reason to believe that the risk to public safety that may result from the pursuit outweighs the risk to public safety that may result if an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not immediately apprehended or if the fleeing motor vehicle or an individual in the fleeing motor vehicle is not identified.

Records

13. (1) If a police officer engages in a vehicle pursuit and the officer is a member of the Ontario Provincial Police, a chief of police of any other police service or an employee of a police service board who is under the direction of a chief of police, the police service’s chief of police shall ensure that the particulars of the pursuit are recorded.

(2) If a police officer engages in a vehicle pursuit and the officer is appointed under the Interprovincial Policing Act, 2009, the officer shall report the particulars of the pursuit to the appointing official or local commander who appointed the officer under that Act and that person shall ensure that the particulars are recorded.

(3) If a Niagara Parks constable engages in a vehicle pursuit, the chief of the Niagara Parks Police Service shall ensure that the particulars of the pursuit are recorded.

14. Omitted (provides for coming into force of provisions of this Regulation).

 

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