A United Front To Combat Crime
The McGuinty government is working with justice partners and police leaders to form a united front to combat crime. Recent initiatives to strengthen public protection include:
MAJOR CASE CROWNS
Major Case Crowns provide assistance to police by increasing the focus of large criminal cases from the early stages right through to the prosecution by:
- Providing pre-charge advice to police during major police investigations
- Providing assistance to police on investigative procedures including search warrants, wiretaps and undercover agents
- Providing advice on complex evidentiary issues and acting as a resource for bail hearings to enhance public protection
- Preparing the Crown disclosure brief.
In addition to the Niagara region, the government has also assigned Major Case Crowns to work with police forces in Toronto, Ottawa, Windsor and Peel.
This strategy builds on the success of specialized anti-gun and gang Crowns that have been deployed to every region in the province to work full-time as a resource to police and prosecutors on gun violence matters.
JUSTICE ON TARGET
Ontario is also setting targets to reduce the time to trial and number of appearances by 30 per cent over the next four years. The Justice on Target strategy will accelerate the pace of justice and hold offenders accountable by:
- Focusing more justice system resources on the most serious and violent cases, particularly those involving repeat violent offenders
- Minimizing the risk of charges being stayed due to delay
- Reducing the time spent by police officers in court and increasing their time on the streets, keeping our communities safe.
Action sites in courthouses in Newmarket, North York and London have been chosen to begin this effort. Multi-disciplinary teams are directly engaging local judges, justices of the peace, Crown attorneys, defence counsel, victim service workers, police, corrections and court staff, Legal Aid Ontario and other local justice sector participants to identify, test and implement new ideas that will achieve faster justice. Progress will be measured and reported online at http://www.ontario.ca/justiceontarget.
EXIT POINT TASKFORCE
On November 25, 2008, Attorney General Chris Bentley met with Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci, OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police President Chief Ian Davidson to find new and better ways to work together to strengthen public protection from repeat violent offenders.
Following the meeting, Bentley announced the creation of the Exit Point Taskforce to focus on the main "exit points" of the justice system - bail, sentencing, and post-sentence. Made up of specialized senior Crown attorneys who will provide instant advice to Crown prosecutors across Ontario, the taskforce will ensure that additional support is provided to keep repeat violent offenders off our streets.