Ottawa police have called in the Ontario Provincial Police to investigate two new cases of alleged abuse of prisoners in the cellblocks.

Acting chief Gilles Larochelle said he learned about two new incidents “concerning cellblock operations” since Friday. The incidents are in addition to two currently being investigated by the province’s Special Investigations Unit.

The new cases, which are before the courts and involve both sworn and civilian members, have been deferred to the OPP, said Larochelle. Further cases will also be forwarded to the OPP.

“I am extremely concerned with the fact that we are learning of more incidents related to how Ottawa police deals with individuals in our custody,” he said.

While police have highly competent investigators, Larochelle said he felt it was important to seek assistance from an outside agency. He received confirmation from the OPP that they would proceed with the new investigations late yesterday afternoon.

“We have a problem, there’s no doubt about it, and we need to identify the issues so that we can take measures to correct them.

“The problem is how prisoners that are brought into our cell block. In viewing some of these tapes, we acknowledge the fact that the officer’s actions are questionable,” he said.

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