section 69


A peace officer who fails to take reasonable steps to suppress a riot within their jurisdiction is guilty of an indictable offence and can be imprisoned for up to two years.


69. A peace officer who receives notice that there is a riot within his jurisdiction and, without reasonable excuse, fails to take all reasonable steps to suppress the riot is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.


Section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada holds peace officers accountable for failing to take reasonable steps in suppressing a riot within their jurisdiction. A riot is defined as an incident where a group of people use force or violence to damage property, endanger public safety or cause harm to individuals. The objective of this section is to ensure that peace officers perform their duty of maintaining public safety and order during riots. Peace officers include policemen, sheriffs, RCMP officers, and other law enforcement officers. If a peace officer receives notice of a riot but fails to take necessary measures to suppress it, they are guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years. The section emphasizes that the peace officer must take all reasonable steps necessary to suppress the riot, and failing to do so without reasonable excuse is a violation of the law. Examples of reasonable steps include the use of necessary force, apprehension of individuals causing violence or vandalism, and calling for additional help from other law enforcement agencies. It is crucial that peace officers prioritize the safety of the public during riots. The effective control of a riot can prevent people from getting hurt, prevent property damage, and restore calm to the affected area. The deterrence of violent incidents in public is important to uphold the peace and order in society. In conclusion, section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada places legal responsibility on peace officers to take all necessary measures to suppress riots within their jurisdiction. Peace officers are expected to prioritize public safety, and their failure to do so may result in serious legal consequences.


Section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that reinforces the duty of police officers to maintain the peace in their jurisdiction. This section criminalizes the neglect of duty of a peace officer who fails to take reasonable steps to suppress a riot, even if they receive notice of its occurrence. The implication of this section is that it places a significant responsibility on the police, who are expected to act swiftly to prevent riots and other forms of public disorder and unrest. The need for this section was underscored by the events that led to its inclusion in the Canadian Criminal Code. There had been instances where the police failed to respond to riots in a timely and effective manner. In some cases, the police were accused of standing by and doing nothing while riots raged, which led to loss of life and property. These incidents underscored the need to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions or inaction during riots or other public disturbances. Under section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada, a peace officer is expected to take all reasonable steps to suppress a riot, which suggests that they should explore all possible options to bring peace and order to the affected areas. The section does not specify what constitutes a reasonable step or what actions a peace officer should take to suppress a riot. This gives the police the discretion to decide the most appropriate response to a riot, depending on the circumstances on the ground. The section is particularly significant because it ensures that the police are held accountable for their actions during a riot. The government expects peace officers to act in a manner that is conducive to the maintenance of public safety, and where they fail to do so, they are subject to criminal penalties. This provision sends a message to the police that the government expects them to act with professionalism, diligence, and respect for the rule of law. One criticism of section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada is that it creates a risk of over-policing. Some critics argue that the provision might encourage law enforcement officers to use excessive force when suppressing a riot or a public disturbance. Additionally, the provision does not require that a peace officer fulfill a duty to protect citizens who are exercising their rights to protest. As a result, there is a possibility that a peace officer might suppress a peaceful demonstration under the guise of suppressing a riot. In conclusion, section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as an important reminder that peace officers have a responsibility to maintain public safety and order. The provision ensures that police officers are held accountable for their actions or inaction during riots or public disturbances. It also serves as a warning to law enforcement officers that they must act with professionalism and respect for the law in responding to public unrest. However, the provision leaves room for interpretation, which can result in over-policing or other forms of abuse by police officers. It is therefore important that police departments across Canada provide ongoing training and support to officers to ensure that they act appropriately during public disturbances.


Section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides guidance to peace officers on how they should respond to and suppress riots within their jurisdictions. The section criminalizes the failure of peace officers to take necessary steps to prevent or suppress riots. This has important implications for police departments and other law enforcement agencies that are responsible for maintaining public order and safety in Canada. There are several strategic considerations that peace officers must take into account when dealing with Section 69. These include: 1. Assessing the situation: One of the most important considerations for peace officers is to assess the situation in order to determine the appropriate response. The level of violence, size of the crowd, and available resources are all critical factors that officers must consider when deciding how to respond to a riot. 2. Use of force: The use of force is a delicate issue in riot situations. Officers must use force in accordance with the law, and only to the extent necessary to achieve their objectives. The use of excessive force can lead to injuries, deaths, and civil lawsuits. 3. Communication: Communication is critical in riot situations. Leaders of the crowd must be identified and spoken to in order to gain their cooperation. Communication can also be used to diffuse tensions and prevent further escalation of the situation. 4. Crowd control tactics: Crowd control tactics should be implemented to prevent the situation from getting out of control. This can include using barriers, deploying riot police, and restricting access to the area. 5. Collaboration: Collaboration with other agencies, such as fire departments and paramedics, can be critical in riot situations. It can also involve collaboration with community leaders and groups to help prevent further violence. There are several strategies that peace officers can employ to effectively enforce Section 69. These include: 1. Preparation: Preparation is key in preventing or suppressing riots. Law enforcement agencies need to be well-trained, properly equipped, and informed of the tactics, strategies, and equipment necessary to effectively respond to riots. 2. Communication: As already noted, communication is critical in riot situations. Officers should be trained in communication tactics, such as active listening and assertiveness. 3. Tactical expertise: Riot situations demand a high level of tactical expertise. Officers must be trained in tactical operations, including the use of less-lethal weapons, crowd control tactics, and communication techniques. 4. Collaboration with community: Law enforcement agencies should develop and maintain strong relationships with the communities they serve. Such collaborations can help prevent tensions from escalating into violent riots. 5. Technology: The use of technology, such as video surveillance and social media monitoring, can be critical in preventing or suppressing riots. This can help police departments identify potential riot situations before they escalate into violent situations. In conclusion, dealing with Section 69 of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration of the situation. Employing the appropriate strategies and tactics can help law enforcement agencies prevent or suppress riots in a manner that is lawful, effective, and safe for all parties involved.