Police chief weighs in on ghost guns, bail reform and increase in violent crime

By Brandon Maher

Every traditional investigation that police participate in now involves some component of a digital footprint.

Waterloo Regional Police Chief Mark Crowell said the dark web has changed the way that police address issues today, as well as plan for the future.

The organization is policing two neighbourhoods: every day street and crime, and the online world.

“That is the new avenue for people to carry out, whether it's fraud, exploitation, different forms of innovative theft.” Crowell stated.

Ghost guns are also becoming a major issue for police in Waterloo Region, the province and across the country.

The non traceable and fully operational firearms are assembled and created by everyday people as an attempt to avoid the federal crackdown on guns at the Canadian border 

“If we can, how do we interrupt, disrupt, prevent those assemblies from happening?” Crowell said.

Crowell acknowledged that there has been an increase in violent crime related to weapons over the last several years, including firearms and stabbings.

He also called the national discussion on bail reform 'very healthy'.

“We're trying to coalesce on where do we have common ground on what we'd like to see in terms of violent offenders, and violent offences, and how they intersect with the justice system, and what bail looks like.” Crowell elaborated.

Crowell added that police are finding their way on refining expectations for everybody.


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