We’re sharing a media release (see below) issued by SiRT this morning, announcing they have been informed by the Public Prosecution Service that due to issues related to delays in the prosecution, the charges of theft, breach of trust and obstruction of justice against a Halifax Regional Police officer would not be re-instituted.
Halifax Regional Police referred this matter to SiRT in May 2015 as soon as we realized there was a possible misappropriation of an exhibit seized during an investigation. A corresponding Police Act investigation was commenced at the outset of this matter, and as per normal procedure, suspended pending the completion of the criminal proceedings. The Police Act investigation will now resume and the officer remains suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. We can’t release the name as the officer is now deemed never to have been charged with any criminal offence.
February 03 - SiRT - SUPPLEMENTAL REPORT FILED IN HRP THEFT OF EXHIBIT CASE
On May 21, 2015, SiRT began an investigation into a Halifax Regional Police (HRP) officer regarding a potential theft, breach of trust, and obstruction of justice committed by an officer. The allegations of theft and breach of trust related to a substance known as “cut” which went missing from an HRP exhibit locker. “Cut” is used in the illegal drug trade and is mixed with the actual drug to increase quantity and profitability. The allegation of obstruction of justice related to alleged steps taken to help a third party avoid detection and arrest by other HRP members.
The evidence gathered from the investigation showed that the cut went missing in late January, 2015 from an HRP exhibit locker. It was delivered by the Officer to another individual shortly after it was taken. The Officer did not dispute that he took the cut and made the delivery, but said it was related to police duties and that his Sergeant permitted him to do so. That was disputed by the Sergeant in question, and SiRT had gathered other evidence that questioned certain other details put forward by the Officer. Other evidence was received from a witness that suggested that the officer had warned a person that other HRP officers were attempting to make an arrest on a warrant. The officer disputed this. After the investigation, it became unlikely that witness would be available to testify.
None of these facts have been proven in a court proceeding.
Charges of theft, breach of trust and obstruction of justice were laid against the officer on January 27, 2016, and SiRT’s file was provided to the Crown on March 15, 2016. Subsequently, the Crown entered a stay of proceedings on May 30, 2016. On January 27, 2017, SiRT was informed by the Public Prosecution Service that due to issues related to delays in the prosecution of the charges, the charges would not be re-instituted.
As a result, Officer 1 is deemed never to have been charged with any criminal offence.
A complete copy of the report is available at http://sirt.novascotia.ca.
SIRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian director Ron MacDonald, who is solely responsible for decisions respecting the laying of any charge.