Pilot study of method to review closed organized crime files


The data collected in the six site visits using the fields described in chapter III were collated into two SPSS data files to allow for rapid and flexible data tabulation. This chapter provides a limited illustration of the nature of the data in the files developed during the course of the pilot study. It serves as an indication of where Phase 2 resources might best be directed in light of the potential usefulness and likely availability of specific types of data. A more complete and thorough analysis of the pilot data files will be required to clarify the specific research and evaluation questions that these data can answer.


Across all sites, 79% of the files reviewed were clearly organized crime files based on the definition set out at the May 30th workshop. Another 19% were only identifiable as organized crime files given their original selection as such by the regional office prosecutors. In other words, nothing the reviewers found in the file clarified the link between the file and organized crime. Only two files were deemed not to fit the definition (both were terrorism files).

The files reviewed for this project contained the following key documents/ components as shown below. In general those documents that were the most useful for the review were the Information and the Crown Brief; these were also the most widely available:

Table 3.1: Availability of Key Documents in Files Reviewed
Document Percentage of files that include document
Information 82%
Crown (Court) Brief 60%
Wiretap transcripts 49%
Court transcripts 48%
Search warrants 37%
Indictment 34%
Audio tapes 33%
Video tapes 29%

It should be clarified that there was no expectation during the review that all files would contain all documents. These percentages are presented simply to provide future reviewers with a guide as to what to expect in conducting such a file review. Clearly, if no wiretaps were used during a police investigation, there is no reason to expect wiretap transcripts on file. Similarly if no arrests were made or charges laid in a given file, there will be no information or Crown brief.

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