Police Note-Taking

R. v. Thompson 2013 ONSC 1527 – A “gun-call” to the police, which is an almost daily occurrence in the Greater Toronto Area.  While this case focused on other issues, it is mentioned here due to the comments that the Judge made with the note-taking of the officers.  The Judge commented that, “By way of postscript, something must be said about the police note-taking as described in this trial. As a general rule:

    • (1)  because police officers don’t wear head-cams and have to discharge their duties in often risky and fast-moving circumstances, it is to be recognized that there is a limit to the degree of detail that can be recorded in a notebook at the scene of an incident or indeed subsequently
    • (2)  reasonable efforts should be made, however, to contemporaneously record significant details, including those relevant to constitutional rights of a suspect – note-taking should not be routinely deferred to later in a shift at a police facility
    • (3)  where multiple officers participate in investigation of an incident, their notes should be made independently and not as a collective and not after a (de)briefing where the incident is discussed as a group
    • (4)  an officer should record when notes were made, where and in whose company if not alone.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Recent Case Law

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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