Halifax RCMP conducted street checks on black people at a slightly higher rate than Halifax Regional Police (HRP) over the past 10 years, according to a new report.
In a 10-year period between 2006 and 2016, there were 25,322 street checks done by police. Of that number, 2,981 were conducted on black people, 12 per cent of the total street checks. In comparison, statistics released Monday by HRP showed 11.08 per cent of checks were made on black people dating back to 2005, despite Statistics Canada data showing black people make up only 3.59 per cent of the municipality’s population. Halifax police’s statistics show black people are three times more likely to be checked by police than white people in Halifax.
Other minorities account for seven per cent of total street checks during the 10 years by RCMP.
The statistics by RCMP are composed of their policing area: Musquodoboit Harbour, Sheet Harbour, Cole Harbour, Sackville, North Central and Tantallon districts.
Data by RCMP also showed there were 1,246 street checks between January and October 2016. A total of 509 black people – 41 per cent – were checked with 475 checks being performed in Cole Harbour district, 93 per cent of the overall number of black people checked. In addition, 440 were in East and North Preston and the Cherrybrook area.
In the report, about two-thirds of the overall checks in the 10-month period took place from April to August. During this period, 305 checks were conducted on black people in East and North Preston and the Cherrybrook area.
The report says “there was significant increase in manpower” in April in an effort to decrease violence in the “Preston Zone” but “even then there were shootings/attempt homicides.”
It goes on to say there was “a significant need for intelligence during this time” due to no charges on file or people taken into custody.