London's city council committee took the first steps to end carding in the city during a meeting on Nov. 15.
John Pare, London's chief of police, describes the practice of carding as “entering information into a record management system to record information about a person, vehicle or location that may be of interest for a legitimate law enforcement and public safety purpose."
The community and protective services committee unanimously passed a motion that asks Mayor Matt Brown to publicly call on the London Police Services board to end the practice of carding.
The motion also requires the mayor to ensure ongoing anti-racism and anti-oppression training for the organization.
Pare said the carding information that's collected is used by crime analysts, who look for crime trends and use the information to try to identify persons of interest.
Since June 2015, ward 3 councillor Mo Salih has led a public fight to end this practice, sending letters to the LPS board and having conversations with community stakeholders and representatives.
"I started these conversations in June 2015 when I reached out to the LPS board and have been advocating ever since as well as many members of the community," he said.
Jean-Claude Aubin, operational leader of Campus Police, believes ending this practice could affect the safety of the community.
“I could see a cease in carding could cause some safety issues for the community, so I don’t think it’s a good idea to ban it," he said. "But having legislation regarding it to make sure it’s not abused is important."
Last year, Western's teaching assistant and postdoctoral union, PSAC Local 610, called on LPS to stop carding on campus and in the city of London when a member was stopped by Campus Police.
Salih questions the effectiveness of carding and thinks instead of performing street checks, LPS should build relationships with the community.
“Where are the statistics and data that we’re going to be less safe?” he said. “You can give us anecdotal examples, but having the community work with you especially in communities where there might be more challenges is only going to be a benefit versus damaging those relationships where people feel as if they are being targeted.”
The motion will be voted on by city council at Tuesday's meeting.
At the time of publication, LPS could not be reached for comment.