Complaints made to the OIPRD are matters which usually involve an individual’s personal interaction with the police. Therefore, complainants, respondent officers, the witnesses to the incident and those involved in the process have very important privacy interests, which must be safeguarded.
The OIPRD endeavours to protect the privacy of all individuals involved in the complaints process. Based on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), as well as s. 26.1(9) and s. 95 of the PSA, the OIPRD cannot, and does not, provide any third party with any information about complaints or complainants. Therefore, the OIPRD does not publicly comment on, or release information about, an individual public complaint. In addition, respecting the privacy and confidentiality of the complaints process helps maintains the integrity and autonomy of the screening, investigation, review and hearing processes.
The OIPRD only provides information about complaints as is prescribed by legislation or law. For example, the OIPRD provides information about a complaint to the police service that is conducting an investigation. The OIPRD does not release the investigative reports prepared by the police services, where the investigation of the complaint had been referred to a police service. Where an investigation has been completed by the OIPRD, the OIPRD provides a copy of the investigative report, along with the Director’s findings, to the complainant, the chief of the police of the affected service and the respondent officer. The OIPRD will not provide its investigative report to any other party.
Disciplinary hearings held pursuant to the PSA are public hearings. If a complaint proceeds to a disciplinary hearing, upon receipt of the hearing decision, the OIPRD will post the decision on our website. In appropriate cases, there may be a ban on the publication of the complainant’s name.
The OIPRD may also be directed, by a court, tribunal or inquest, to release some portion of its records as a result of a third party records application. In such cases, the OIPRD would request that the court, tribunal or inquest impose very strict conditions on the use and dissemination of this material.