Serious harm is defined in Part 11 of the Police Act as injury that may result in death, may cause serious disfigurement or may cause substantial loss or impairment of mobility of the body as a whole or of the function of any limb or organ.

When a notification from police is received, the on-call Director or the Chief Civilian Director will determine whether a case is within the jurisdiction of the IIO. If it is not immediately apparent if the injuries meet the threshold to be considered serious harm, initial investigative steps will seek to determine this.

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