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StatCan to collect, report race-based crime data in project with police chiefs

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Statistics Canada and the country’s police chiefs have agreed to help collect and report data about Indigenous and ethnocultural groups when compiling information on victims and accused people.

The national statistics agency and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police say the demand for this information has never been greater.

Read more: Ontario’s police watchdog to collect race-based data

The move comes amid widespread concern about police brutality and discrimination toward Black and Indigenous people.

Deputy Chief Stu Betts of the London police service, co-chair of the association’s statistics committee, says data about the experience of different communities is important in understanding how they are represented in Canada’s criminal justice system.

Discussions will be held with Indigenous and ethnocultural groups and organizations to ensure the information collected is relevant and to identify ways of ensuring data quality.

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Statistics Canada and the police chiefs will also work together to provide training and guidance to police services on the information to be gathered and how it should be reported.

They say the goal is to provide annual national, provincial, territorial and, if possible, regional justice-related statistics to inform evidence-based decision making.

“In moving forward, it is absolutely fundamental to continue engagement with communities and partners.”