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What information is not destroyed by the local police?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2165

Most police services will not destroy incident reports relating to the not-guilty charge until the expiration-time specified in their bylaws. Each police service has its own bylaws, so the time periods vary. Some police services also have policies that outline specific categories of offences they will not destroy. In addition, there are other ancillary reasons for denial, such as where the applicant has:

  • a conviction,
  • an unexpired discharge on file,
  • an unexpired peace bond, and so on.

Still other police services, while refusing to destroy their records, do agree to seal them for local police records check purposes.

The bottom line is that each police service has the legal jurisdiction to deal with the criminal records it has created. Of course, they must do so within the confines of the laws of Canada, (particularly the Charter and privacy laws).  If someone has had dealings with the police, it is always a good idea to find out what information they intend to keep on file. If the person feels that the police are retaining information that they are not legally permitted to keep, they can make a formal request that it be destroyed and, failing that, legal action may be taken.

For more information, refer to Local police destruction for not-guilty outcomes.

Get help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.

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