Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer # 2105
Are criminal records always stored in the RCMP data banks?Region: Ontario Answer # 2105
With the exception of youth criminal records, there is no legal obligation on police services to report criminal charges and outcomes to the RCMP for inclusion into the Identification data bank.
Further, criminal records relating to ‘strictly’ summary conviction offences (the least serious type of offence) cannot be included in the Identification data bank. This is so because police cannot legally fingerprint for strictly summary offences, and fingerprints are required for records to be included in the Identification data bank.
In 1996, a report by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada stated that:
“Although the RCMP has never done a study to determine what percentage of all charges are reported and what percentage are not reported, the feeling of staff of (what is now) the department responsible for the Identification data bank, is that a significant number are not reported to them.”
In recent years, however, with technological advancements and the desire by police services to share information, most of the criminal record information (for which fingerprints were taken) is transferred to the RCMP and included in the Identification data bank. When individuals submit to an RCMP criminal records check, and have their fingerprints taken, the data bank from which the report is derived is the Identification data bank.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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