Auditor general blasts OPP for hiring, spending, overtime costs, poor records

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TORONTO - The auditor general found the Ontario Provincial Police were doing a poor job of keeping track of what's in their evidence lockers and parking lots.

Auditor General Jim McCarter says the OPP were unable to locate 200 vehicles in their fleet but eventually were able to track them down.

However, McCarter says visits to eight OPP detachments found police records did not match the contents of their evidence lockers, where cash, drugs and guns are often stored for use in court.

He says there were examples where a gun was missing from a locker or there was too much cash in the evidence room compared with the written records.

McCarter says provincial police brass reacted like they'd been slapped in the face when confronted with the evidence locker problems, and promised to fix what they admitted was a systemic problem.

The auditor's annual report also criticizes the OPP for increasing spending and hiring at a time when crime and highway accidents rates have been declining and for allowing overtime costs to soar by 60 per cent since 2004-05.

McCarter's ten-year term is about to expire, and he says unlike most ministries and agencies that get audited, the OPP has not shown "much of an improvement" during the past decade.