In 1995, Paul Bernardo was convicted, declared a dangerous offender…

..and sentenced to an indefinite period of imprisonment for the sexual assault of up to eighteen women, and murder of three women between 1987 to 1992 in Ontario, Canada


The Honourable Mr. Justice Archie G. Campbell was subsequently commissioned to conduct a judicial inquiry to review and report on the roles of the police and other agencies which ultimately led to charges being applied to Bernardo. Justice Campbell’s final report identified a number of systemic failures within the law enforcement and justice system.

Amongst a set of twenty-seven recommendations, he called for greater cooperation and the sharing of data amongst different law enforcement agencies,

A single uniform computerized case management system for the mandatory use in all serial predator investigations and all major sexual assault and homicide cases.

In response to this recommendation, the Solicitor General of Ontario adopted PowerCase, an Investigative Management system developed by Xanalys Ltd which possessed the following functionality identified by Justice Campbell:

  • Recording, organisation, management, analysis and follow up of investigative dataEnsuring all relevant information sources are applied to the investigation:
  • Encouraging and supporting the sharing of data across agencies
  • Early recognition of linked incidents
  • A “triggering” capability to alert users of commonalities in newly acquired data
  • Standardised procedures and investigative methodology.

The centralised PowerCase system was made available to all police services across the province in 2002 and three years later, Ontario Provincial Legislation mandated the use of the new major case investigation and information sharing process, naming PowerCase as the technology that would be used to support the initiative. According to the legislation, investigators working on all major case investigations conducted within the Province of Ontario would be required to share information across jurisdictional boundaries.

While the concept of major or designated cases focuses on sexual crime and homicide, Ontario law enforcement agencies have also benefited from deploying PowerCase on organised crime and counter terrorism investigations. These can be extremely complexx in nature and may extend over many months or years. Some of the characteristics of these case types include:

  • A number of concurrent, related investigations
  • A significant intelligence component focusing on special interest groups (including foreign organisations), hate crime/extremism, drugs, weapons & firearms, incorporation of open source intelligence
  • Require frequent production of briefs, media releases, or information requests under Freedom Of Information legislation
  • Regular identification of linked incidents
  • Multi-tiered management/command post teams
  • Large numbers of multimedia files to record and manage
  • Telephone toll data analysis
  • History of Major Case Management in Ontario Canada