Nova Scotia to require the collection of race-based data from police stops

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Justice Department is committing to the collection of race-based data by police in the province.

The department says it is accepting all the recommendations by a committee established to review ways of gathering race-based information from police.

The government says it will collect data in order to determine whether certain groups are disproportionately stopped by police.

It says doing so can help police improve their interactions with African Nova Scotians and Indigenous Peoples, in particular.

The committee was struck as a result of a provincially commissioned study of random police stops — known as street checks — by criminologist Scott Wortley in March 2019.

Wortley’s review found that African Nova Scotians were about six times more likely to be the subjects of random police stops than their representation in the population would predict.

Since 2019, police in Nova Scotia have not been allowed to conduct street checks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press