Residents of south-east Scarborough can rest a little easier knowing a new aspect of crime prevention has been added to police coverage of the area.A spokesperson for 43 Division recently announced the creation of a new unit to tackle the problem of bail re-offenders, called the Bail Compliance Unit.
Police Constable Bill Campbell, crime prevention officer for 43 Division, announced the new initiative at a town hall community meeting with Councillor Paul Ainslie of Ward 43 on Feb. 26.
The new program was created to help prevent crime suspects released on bail from committing more crimes while waiting for their court date. This is to be done through unannounced police checks.
“Our Bail Compliance Unit now is going to be going around daytime, nighttime, afternoons, knocking on their door,” PC Campbell said. “They have to answer the door, present themselves in person. If they’re not there and they’re under house arrest, they immediately get arrested, a warrant’s taken out for them, they go back to jail.”
The unit at 43 Division is the first fully operational unit following successful pilot programs at 22, 55 and 51 Divisions. The program was created in part due to public outrage over the number of crimes committed by people in violation of their bail conditions.
The Toronto Sun compiled a list of some of the most recent of such cases, which included the October 13 killings of Scarborough resident Saramma Varughese and her daughter Susan John by their neighbour Nathaniel O’Brien, who was out on bail and under house arrest at the time.
“The chief and command have recognized that there’s been an outcry from the citizens of Toronto that there have been a lot of high-profile cases where people that are out currently on bail are committing other crimes. These are serious crimes we’re concerned with, violent crimes,” Sergeant Steve Kelly said, head of the unit at 43 Division.
The program is designed to monitor known violent offenders to deter them from future violent crimes. The unit has a top-ten list of the most wanted or most violent offenders who have warrants out for their arrest.
According to 43 Division one of the tasks of the Bail Compliance Unit will be to actively search for and arrest these offenders.