Major Crime

The Major Crime Unit

Major Crimes includes crimes against persons such as murder, serious assaults, sex offences, abductions, missing persons, and some robberies.  Other complex cases may be assigned, as well.

  • The Major Crime Unit includes the Sexual Offences Unit.
  • Many of these cases are investigated according to Ontario Major Case Management standards and principles, as set out in the Police Services Act and the Ontario Case Management Manual.
  • The Sex Offences Unit investigates all threshold and historical sexual assaults, manages high-risk sexual offenders, supervises the Ontario Sex Offender registrants, and investigates internet-related sex offences.  This team works in partnership with community agencies such as the Womens Health Care Centre, Kawartha Sexual Assault Center, Circles of Support and Accountability, Probation, Parole, and Kawartha Children’s Aid Society.  This ensures a comprehensive response and investigation.

2018 Overview:

The Major Crime Unit is comprised of nine sworn members; three in Major Crime, four in Sex Offences, one in Fraud and one supervising Sergeant.

Major Crime Investigation Statistics: 2016 2017 2018
Murder 2 1 1
Attempt Murder 5 4 1
Aggravated Assault 5 16 11
Frauds 313 293 456
Arson 9 5 5
Indecent Act 21 22 16
Sexual Assaults 145 163 127
Sudden Deaths 111 129 140

The reporting of sexual offences decreased by 36 incidents compared to 2017. A 5th member was to be added to the Sexual Offences Unit in the Spring of 2018 to assist in managing these cases. This position was postponed until January 2019 in-order to assist with staffing levels on the front-line. With the addition of an extra sexual assault investigator this should free up more time to focus on internet child exploitation and human trafficking.

2018 Investigation Highlights:

  • Pringle Homicide – The investigation began in late 2016 and continued into 2017. Six persons were arrested and many of their trials were concluded with convictions.  As of the end of 2017 only two of the six charged were still before the courts.  In 2018, one of the offenders pled guilty to being an accessory after the fact. One offender remains and his trial is set for early 2019.
  • In October, officers from Major Crime and Sex Crimes, along with members from Cobourg Police Service, City of Kawartha Lakes Police Service and Peterborough OPP participated in Operation Northern Spotlight. This project is operated internationally and is aimed at Human Trafficking.   Police spoke with as many as 10 women involved in the sex trade industry.
  • In August, a domestic Homicide occurred in the parking lot of the Home Depot. Uniform and Investigative Services officers responded and the matter was resolved very quickly with the suspect being arrested moments after the shooting. Through a coordinated effort, the scene was secured and processed, the family was notified and consoled, search warrants were prepared and executed, the accused was interviewed and attended court. Most of this occurred within hours of this tragic event.  The accused is still before the courts but has made it clear that he intends to plead guilty.
  • In September, members of the Major/Sex Crimes conducted a “John Sting” which targeted individuals wishing to engage underage sex trade workers. Contact was made with numerous suspects. In total three males were charged with several offences including sexual exploitation.
  • Investigative Services were involved with two infant sudden death investigations in 2018. One of the investigations was deemed medical and unpreventable. The other, although not criminal appears to have been avoidable.  Both investigations were emotionally taxing and resulted in debriefs for all first responders.
  • In November 2017, Major Crime began a Criminal Harassment investigation involving a community member who was identified as being in a vulnerable group. The victim reported being harassed by an unknown suspect who was utilizing an online application to send vulgar messages and make unsolicited phone calls; further harassment has been going on for over 18 months. This matter was originally deemed to be unsolvable by other investigators. Through investigation it was determined who the phone numbers (7 in total) were owned by, and that subscriber information among other thing was available for the numbers. Numerous production orders were sought and with the assistance of our Crime Analyst the complainant was identified as the suspect.
  • In 2017 Major Crime investigated a shooting at a Water Street address. A confrontation took place in the apartment and during the confrontation a male was shot leaving him in critical condition. The suspects then fled.  The suspects were only known by their street aliases. Through collaboration with other Investigative Services Units these males were subsequently identified and the accused was arrested for attempt murder as well as numerous firearm related offences.  In 2018, the accused in this matter, Julian Graham, was convicted after a lengthy attempt murder trial.
  • The Sexual Offences Unit investigated a forcible confinement sexual assault that occurred after a male offered a ride to a vulnerable female. At the time of the initial investigation the suspect was unknown. With the assistance of observant and diligent uniform members a possible suspect was identified. As result further investigation was completed and a suspect was arrested, possibly preventing further offences.

Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System (ViClas) Statistics:

ViClas is a provincial software system managed by the OPP to analyze violent crime in an attempt to identify individuals who may be responsible for multiple crimes.  There was a total of 157 (141 in 2017) ViClas reports completed in 2018.  These reports are being electronically submitted to the ViClas Centre in Orillia via a secure portal. Of the 157 reports, 43 (73 in 2017) were threshold investigations and 88 (67 in 2017) were non-threshold and 26 (67 in 2017) were non-criteria submission.

Powercase:

Powercase is a Ministry mandated software system that Police Services use to manage major cases.  Members utilized Powercase throughout the year for 187 (206 in 2017) investigations.  Fifty eight (68 in 2017) of those investigations were submitted as “full functionality’ and 129 were “tomb stoned”.

Elder Abuse:

In 2018, the Peterborough Police Service received 263 calls for service from long term care homes and retirement homes in Peterborough, Lakefield and Cavan Monaghan Township compared to 265 calls for service in 2017.

Over 96% of these calls were categorized as Police Information (76% in 2017) with the other call types including: Police Assistance, Missing Person, Theft, Assault, Threats and Fraud. Approximately 95% of these calls were managed by the Elder Abuse Unit, (82% in 2017) which consisted of one member on a part time basis in Major Crime.

In August of 2017 the Board approved creating a new full-time vulnerable person’s position for 2018 for Domestic Violence/Elder Abuse. Because of front line officers being off on WSIB, Long Term Disability (LTD), Maternity Leave and Leave of Absence this left the front line short of officers.

Therefore, this position was not filled until December 4, 2018 by Detective Constable Jennie Fitzsimmons. DC Fitzsimmons is now responsible for reviewing all Elder Abuse and Domestic Violence incidents. We will now be capable of providing an enhanced service to the community we serve.

Sex Offender Registry (SOR) Statistics:

  • 205 – Offenders on SOR with Peterborough Police Service
  • 166 – Offenders Currently Required To Register
  • 3 – Offenders No Longer Required to Register on either OSOR or NSOR (National Sex Offender Registry)
  • 6 – Offenders No Longer Required to Register for the OSOR but still Required to Register for the NSOR
  • 147 – Offenders Annual Registrations Completed
  • 165 – Offenders Addresses Verified
  • 1 – Offender Charged for Non-Compliance of Christopher’s Law or SOIRA (Sex Offender Information Registry Act)
  • 100% Current Compliance Rate for Peterborough Police Service

Offenders whose Registration Requirement is Currently Suspended

  • 10 – Moved out of Province
  • 8 – Incarcerated for a sexual offence
  • 7 – Incarcerated for a non-sexual offence
  • 4 – Deceased
  • 1 – Moved out of Country

Internet Child Exploitation (ICE)

In 2018, a new investigator was assigned to fulfill the duties as the ICE investigator. This officer was required to complete several qualifying courses at both the Ontario Police College and the Canadian Police College.

This is a part time position. The officer is a member of the Sexual Offences Unit and is expected to investigate sexual assaults along with ICE investigations.

The unit worked collaboratively on investigations with Interpol, Europol, Homeland Security, RCMP, CBSA, Cybertip and the O.P.P with one investigation extending to Great Britain. The ICE Unit received eight referrals from the National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre in relation to child exploitation offences.  In response, seven production orders were sought and followed up with. Of the seven, two search warrants were executed on residences.

The Unit was involved in a month-long project with the Provincial Strategy for the month of November. Three search warrants were executed. In total, two arrests were made and 8 charges in relation to child pornography were laid.

The unit was involved in 33 child exploitation related investigations including one under cover online investigation stemming from an online tip. In total, 11 child pornography related charges were laid.

Training for the year included the Canadian Internet Child Exploitation Course and the Bit Torrent Peer to Peer course at the Canadian Police College in Ottawa, Ontario.

Frauds

Various scams continued to find victims within our community during 2018. Many of the incidents were referred to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. There were approximately 40 victims of various scams which totaled $730,000.

The single member in the Fraud Unit manages multiple complex investigations at a time and completes numerous production orders to collect documentary evidence that often requires extensive analysis.

He also works closely with our media relations coordinator and does outreach training to educate the community in fraud prevention.  In 2018, this member conducted 14 educational presentations in the community on fraud prevention in an attempt to raise awareness in the community.

Many of the scams are multi-jurisdictional. The Fraud Unit worked closely with other police services in an attempt to identify persons responsible.

In 2018 fraud incidents increased from 293 cases in 2017 to 456 cases in 2018. This is a 55.6% increase. The complexity and scope continue to be a major investment in our resources.   Our financial crimes officer is inundated with investigations and advice on a weekly, if not daily, basis.  The length of time required to complete a fraud investigation is more demanding than most and the volume of information obtained from a single production order is at times overwhelming for a single officer.  There is a significant amount of work for a single officer to complete complex fraud investigations in a timely fashion.  This position will need to be reassessed in the near future.

Domestic Human Trafficking

The Peterborough Police Service operates human trafficking investigations through the Sexual Offences Unit. Two detectives have been assigned to work on these investigations on a part time basis.

In 2018, these officers worked on a number of investigations. In September the Unit initiated a project titled “Safeover 18.” This targeted “Johns” seeking sexual services of underage women in the City of Peterborough. This project ran for two evenings. Three males were arrested and charged with various offences.

In November 2018, the Human Trafficking Unit participated in Project Spotlight, an international project started by the F.B.I. to identify and assist victims involved in prostitution. During this project the Unit partnered with Cobourg Police Service, City of Kawartha Lakes Police and Peterborough County OPP.

The following are statistics associated to the Unit for 2018:

8 – New Investigations

2 – Proactive Operations

1 – Proactive Initiative That Was Partnered With Another Police Service

23 – Total Charges Laid

4 – Presentations To Police

4 – Presentations to The Public