Increase in search warrants is startling and worrisome: Friedberg

Jan 12, 2015 By Matthew Friedberg

 New documents showing the number of search warrants executed by Toronto police has nearly tripled in a nine-year period reveals a “disturbing trend” that lawyers and citizens alike should be concerned about, says Toronto criminal lawyer Matthew Friedberg.

“Getting a search warrant into somebody’s home is an invasion of their most sacred place,” he tells

“And to learn that the police have tripled the number of warrants in such a period of time while only obtaining evidence in about half of those circumstances is very concerning to me and should be concerning to everybody in the city. It’s startling.”

Friedberg, who has noticed an increase in the number of his cases involving warrants, weighs in on the issue after the Toronto Star published a story about the search warrant documents.

“In 2005, officers executed 487 search warrants in Toronto. By 2012 that number had climbed to 1,500 before dipping back to 1,359 in 2013. That means on average, police were executing four search warrants a day somewhere in the city, according to Toronto Police Service statistics,” says the article.

The newspaper reports that the Toronto Police Service data shows that “only 698, or half, of the 1,359 search warrants executed in 2013 resulted in Criminal Code or Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges being laid, ‘and (those charges) may also include charges not directly related to the warrant.’”

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