Ontario Targets Organized Crime
McGuinty Government Creates New OPP Team In Border Communities
Ontario is improving how it tackles gun and drug smuggling and other organized crime activities at its borders. The province has formed a specialized intelligence and enforcement team.
The Provincial Organized Crime Enforcement Team (POCET) is made up of 33 officers of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), who work jointly with Canadian and American law enforcement partners to disrupt and suppress organized crime activities.
The new unit is part of the OPP's Organized Crime Section and is being deployed in border communities across the province, including Niagara Falls, Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Kingston and Sarnia. The team has satellite offices in Cornwall, London and Thunder Bay. Two officers will be stationed at OPP headquarters in Orillia and two in Toronto.
This team is another pillar in Ontario's plan to fight guns and gangs and organized crime.
- More than half of the handguns used in crimes in Ontario are smuggled from the United States.
- Organized crime costs Canadians $5 billion every year or $600 for a family of four in additional retail or insurance costs.
“Guns, gangs and drugs are a serious challenge for many communities. Through strategically deployed resources like POCET, we will dismantle these criminal enterprises. POCET will be a major asset in our fight against guns and gangs and organized crime in Ontario.”
“Stronger enforcement and anti-gun smuggling measures at the border are key components of our comprehensive plan to combat gun violence. Working together with our team of specialized Crown prosecutors, this new enforcement unit will help keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.”
“The Provincial Organized Crime Enforcement Team will enhance our current border enforcement initiatives through its focus on enforcement, intelligence gathering, and the facilitation of investigational needs across the province. In this way it will leverage current activity as all agencies work together to improve our ability to combat organized crime.”