Witness Protection Program Act - Annual report: 2011-2012
This is the sixteenth Annual Report on the Witness Protection Program (WPP) as required by section 16 of the Witness Protection Program Act.
The Witness Protection Program continues to be an effective tool for law enforcement to combat terrorism and organized crime. We continue to see the benefit of the Program as an important initiative in support of national priorities, including the dismantling of organized crime groups in Canada. Furthermore, the Program is available to not only the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), but to all law enforcement agencies in Canada and to foreign agencies.
The statistics included in this report are based on the services provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. Protectees include individuals from RCMP cases, protectees referred by other Canadian police services and foreign protectees under subsection 14(2) of the Act. Protection given under subsection 14(2) is on a cost-recovery basis, including the related expenses of RCMP personnel.
In order to not jeopardize the integrity of the Program, or the safety of any individual within the Program, statistics have been provided on the most relevant areas of the Program, without details concerning individual cases.
The following is a breakdown of services provided to the law enforcement community (Appendix “A”):
During this period, the RCMP considered a total number of one hundred and eight cases for admission purposes. Thirty protectees were admitted to the Program, of which twenty-seven were granted a secure name change.
A total of twenty-six protectees accepted in the Program resulted from RCMP cases.
The RCMP provided assistance to other Canadian law enforcement agencies during the last year, as provided for under paragraph 6(1)(a) of the Act. The force admitted four protectees into the Program on behalf of other Canadian law enforcement agencies. The assistance provided by the RCMP in these instances is mostly related to securing federal documentation. The responsibility for protective measures for these protectees rests with the requesting agencies.
Eleven cases were provided with alternative methods of protection. Alternative methods of protection are provided in cases where individuals refuse to be admitted into the Witness Protection Program or fail to meet the criteria for admission into the Program. Some of the reasons stated for the refusals include the conditions imposed and an unwillingness to relocate.
Fluctuations related to admissions from year to year are largely due to: i) law enforcement activities during the fiscal year, ii) single protectees, rather than those with dependants, being admitted to the Program, and iii) variables outside the administration of the Program.
There were eight cases of voluntary termination from the Program this year.
There were two cases of involuntary termination under section 9 of the Act. These cases all involve breaches of the Protection Agreement by the witnesses; their participation in the program was terminated following written notice.
There were three civil litigation cases filed during this reporting period, one each in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario.
During this reporting period, the RCMP provided presentations to visiting foreign officials on the WPP and attached several conferences as invited guests in countries with similar laws.
Cost of the Program:
The RCMP is now providing Parliament with a more detailed list of the costs to administer the WPP, which is reflected in Appendix “B”. Amounts provided are for those incurred by the RCMP only. These do not take into considerations expenses incurred by other law enforcement agencies.
The total cost of the administration of the Program for the reporting year was $9.147M. As detailed in Appendix “B”, this amount includes wages for personnel, expenses, travel costs, administrative and protectee relocation expenses.
It should be noted that award payments are accounted for in a separate budget, thus these expenditures are not reflected in the overall annual cost of the Witness Protection Program.
|Total Number of RCMP Cases assessed for the program:||106||
Total Number of Protectees accepted in the WPP:
-other law enforcement agencies-RCMP
|Total secure identity change:||15||
|Refusal of protection by witnesses:||28||
|Lawsuits filed in court and complaints with the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP in relation to the program:||4||
|Alternate methods of protection:||17||
|1) RCMP Compensation:||$4,528,423.18|
|2) Public Servant Compensation:||$553,885.74|
|3) Other Police Department Secondment:||$255,301.85|
|6) Witness Protection Expenses:||$1,735,840.10|
|8) Civil Litigation Costs:||$13,472.00|
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