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Mayor to seek 'rationale' from province on 'catch and release' policing

Letter from Sarnia city council prompts Orillia councillor to ask for more information about Form 10 promises to appear in court

The city is looking for information from the province about Form 10s — promises to appear in court that are often issued by police.

Correspondence from Sarnia city council was sent to the City of Orillia and other municipalities.

Sarnia council passed a motion that will see it write to the federal and provincial governments to call for “meaningful improvements to the current state of ‘catch and release’ justice in the Ontario legal system.

“Police services across Ontario are exhausting precious time and resources having to manage the repeated arrests of the same offenders, which in turn, is impacting their morale, and ultimately law abiding citizens who are paying the often significant financial and emotional toll of this broken system.”

It caught the eye of Orillia Coun. Tim Lauer.

“This deals with an issue that I seem to run into an awful lot,” he said during Monday’s council meeting, adding he has had numerous conversations with people who have had questions about Form 10s.

He suggested the Orillia Police Services Board report to council on the matter.

“I'm not looking to endorse the resolution (from Sarnia council) that is in front of us, but I’m using it to maybe inform the public on this issue,” Lauer said.

Mayor Steve Clarke, chair of the police services board, said he had previously reached out to Orillia OPP Insp. Coyer Yateman regarding Form 10s.

He was told a promise to appear is a legislative tool and that questions about their use should be directed to the Ministry of the Attorney General.

Clarke suggested he write to the ministry to get more information. Lauer agreed, saying he just wanted more information.

“There’s a lot of misunderstandings about Form 10s … maybe even dissatisfaction,” he said.

Council passed a motion that will see Clarke write to the ministry to request “an explanation of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Form 10 criminal court undertaking which is used by police to compel accused persons to attend court and abide by specific conditions while their case is pending before the courts, as well as an overview of factors, rationale and rules that affect police custody.”

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Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the desk editor for Village Media's central news desk in Simcoe County.
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