An Update on Section 5 of #Carding Regulations: Come Into force January 1, 2017

This is an update on the remaining sections of the carding regulations which come into force on January 1, 2017. Our first post outlines the updates, generally.

When is a police officer allowed to collect identifying information?

To access the PDF of the following post, please click here.

When is a police officer allowed to collect identifying information?


Coming into force date:  January 1, 2017

Part II: Prohibition – Certain Collections of Information

Limitations on collection of certain information

Section 5(1) Section 5(1) states: An officer is not allowed to collect information if:

  • The individual is approached because of their racial identity; and
  • The attempted collection of information is done in an arbitrary (random) manner.

However, there are certain exceptions where a police officer may collect identifying information if the individual is arbitrarily approached or because of their racial identity.
Racial identity exceptions:

  • The officer is looking for a particular individual;
  • The racial identity forms the description of this individual or “is evident from a visual representation of [this individual]”; or
  • The officer has additional information (aside from the racial identity) about this individual.
Section 5(2) Additional information in the racial identity exception includes:

  • Appearance of individual (i.e., other physical characteristics);
  • the location where the individual might be found;
  • the type of vehicle the individual might be found in;
  • the associates the individual might be found with; or
  • the behaviour of the individual.
Section 5(3) Additional information collected as part of the racial identity exception should consist of information aside from sex, approximate age or both sex and approximate age.
Note: This is not a requirement (i.e., to have information aside from sex, age or both). Presumably, these could be the only characteristics included to satisfy the racial identity exception.
Section 5(4) Collection of collect identifying information will not be considered arbitrary if the police officer that comply with the following:

  • Details about the individual that may assist the officer in inquiring about offences that have been or might be committed or inquiring into suspicious activities to detect offences; or
  • Details relating to gathering information for intelligence purposes.

Important: an officer’s reason for attempting to collect identifying information cannot be because:

  • The individual declined to answer a question from the officer that the individual is not legally required to answer; or
  • The individual attempts to discontinue interaction with the police officer which the individual has a legal right to do.

The office cannot arbitrarily collect identifying information because that individual is in a high crime location or “priority” neighbourhood (here is a list of priority neighbourhoods as of 2014).
Note: A police officer could justify any arbitrary collection of identifying information if any of the above occurs but it is not required that officer must satisfying the above in order to justify an arbitrary collection of identifying information.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s