Thursday, March 08, 2012

Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announces community consultations on a new crime-prevention strategy.
Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announces community consultations on a new crime-prevention strategy

March 8, 2012


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Working Together Will Create More Positibe Opportunities for Youth: Chief
The Manitoba government will begin community consultations on a new provincial crime-prevention strategy aimed at identifying and enhancing programs that reduce crime and build strong communities, Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced today.
“We all have a role to play and I want to hear from families and community groups about what should be in a new provincial strategy on crime prevention,” said Chief.  “We need to work together to give our children opportunities and we want help to find effective ways to keep our communities safe.”
Recently Premier Greg Selinger announced the creation of the Department of Children and Youth Opportunities, stating a priority area for this new department will be to connect with community groups and other stakeholders to enhance opportunities for children and youth.
“Working with our provincial government, community members and groups throughout Manitoba provides valuable local insight into how our collective efforts can better target issues to prevent, reduce and intervene on crime before it happens,” said Assistant Commissioner Bill Robinson, commanding officer of RCMP “D” Division.  “Our future is our youth and we are committed to helping them realize a bright and fulfilling future.”
“We know through experience the best approach to preventing crime is through collaboration,” said Winnipeg Police Chief Keith McCaskill.  “This process of community engagement will help ensure our police service, the provincial government and our many dedicated community groups continue to work together with young people to make safer communities.”
In the coming weeks, a series of community engagement meetings with key stakeholders in the area of crime prevention, including community groups, school divisions, law enforcement agencies, local governments and Aboriginal communities, will be held in Winnipeg, Brandon, The Pas and Thompson, Chief said, adding the consultations will also include opportunities for public input.
“We need a multi-faceted approach to keep children and communities on the right track,” said Ron Brown of the Coalition of Community Based Youth Serving Organizations.  “I am happy to be a part of these discussions and look forward to our organizations playing a role in the effort to make the future brighter for all our kids.”
The province has seen success with other targeted crime prevention strategies, Chief said.  The Turnabout Program is the only provincial initiative of its kind in Canada that provides help and consequences for young people who are in conflict with the law but are too young to be subject to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  Auto theft is also at its lowest point since 1992 and is down nearly 80 per cent since the launch of the Winnipeg Auto Theft Suppression Strategy in 2004.
Later this year, the province will release a summary document that builds on existing prevention efforts and embraces new ideas with which communities and partner organizations have had success, said Chief.
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