What Should I Expect When Stopped by Police?
It is the policy of the Saskatoon Police Service that its members shall not discriminate, or attempt to persuade others to discriminate, against any person because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, record of offences, age, marital status, family status, handicap or political or religious affiliation.
This web page is designed to provide information about the rights and responsibilities of both community members and the police. It will also provide some information as to why police make stops and what you can expect if you are stopped by police.
This document is not written to provide legal advice. If you have specific legal questions, you should refer to the appropriate legislation and/or seek counsel.
Police Officers may stop people who are driving when they observe an offence against the Criminal Code of Canada, provincial Highway Traffic Act, municipal by-laws or any other laws, or if the person or vehicle matches the description of someone in an investigation. Officers may stop people who are driving to ensure compliance with traffic laws and safety standards such as sobriety, possessing a valid driver's licence and insurance, and the mechanical fitness of the vehicle.
Officers may stop pedestrians on the street if they observe an offence, if they are investigating a complaint, or if they believe the person has committed or is about to commit a crime. These interactions usually involve the officer asking for your name, address and identification, and other questions that are appropriate to their investigation.
Officers also routinely walk in their patrol areas and speak to people on the street. These contacts are not considered stops, and the goal is for the officers and the community to become more familiar with one another.
Each situation is unique and the police officer will alter his or her approach to fit the circumstances. At all times, police officers must work within the Code of Conduct under the regulations of the Police Services Act, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, the Rules and Procedures of the Saskatoon Police Service, and other legislation.
A Saskatoon Police Officer:
- will provide his or her badge number upon request.
- who is not in uniform will present proper identification; you may ask to examine the badge and photo identification so that you are satisfied the person is a police officer.
- will tell you why you are being stopped.
- will only use the force allowed by law (for example, to stop an offence, effect the arrest of a suspect or maintain custody of a prisoner).
- will generally arrest a person for a crime committed in the officer's presence, or when the officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has already committed or is about to commit a crime.