When the AbbyPD Release Information
The Abbotsford Police Department (AbbyPD) is committed to openness and transparency in our operations, activities, and communications with the public. Our media team often receives questions concerning our decisions to post or not post information, including press releases and suspect photos on incidents that take place in Abbotsford. The laws around public records and disclosure are comprehensive and it is important for us to balance privacy rights (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) of involved parties with the need to be transparent and provide information that is in the interest of the public and public safety. We hope this guide helps explain our procedures when it comes to the release of information from the Abbotsford Police Department.
We frequently receive requests for information related to:
- Serious crimes- homicides, violent assaults, robberies
- Public warnings re: high risk offenders
- Emergency Evacuations
- Fatal or serious traffic collisions
- Sex- or child-related suspicious circumstances cases
- Significant crime trends and/or associated arrests
- Missing Persons
- Witness/ Public Assistance appeals
- Any other case where a release of information would be in the interest of public safety
- Enforcement/Traffic Campaigns
- Up-coming events
- Crime Prevention initiatives
- Misconduct or alleged misconduct by our officers
When We Do or Don’t Identify a Suspect
- If the suspect is an adult and charges have been sworn, we may release their name, age, city of residence and their booking photo. When we do release booking photos for adults, it is because there is a public safety concern, community need or interest.
- If the suspect is a juvenile, we will not identify them by name or release their photo.
We can provide the following about collisions: time, date, location of an accident and confirmation of whether there were any injuries. A factual synopsis (no personal details) of a collision can be provided as it becomes available and as appropriate. If someone is arrested, we will release that information as well. If the collision results in a fatality, we will confirm that information, but we will not release the identity of a deceased person; this information can be obtained from BC Coroner Service. Also, we cannot release who may have been at fault, as that is determined by our officers during their investigation.
Where we release this information
Why we release this information
We believe in transparency and being forthcoming with our community about crimes and events that occur in Abbotsford.
Releasing information in a timely manner gives our community an accurate account of events. It also provides them with a way to not only be aware of what is going on in their city but allows them to take necessary precautions, if they choose, to avoid being victimized.