Investment in Brandon Police Service Will Help Reduce Property Crime,
Break Cycles of Crime: Premier
BRANDON—The Manitoba government is distributing nearly $450,000 through the Proceeds of Crime Fund to Manitoba police agencies to engage communities in combating the illicit drug trade and reduce crime, Premier Brian Pallister and Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced here today.
“We will continue to invest in programs and initiatives that help keep Manitobans safe,” said Pallister. “Our government is working together with police agencies and community organizations across the province to achieve our shared goals of combating the illicit drug trade and reducing crime.”
The province’s investment is part of Manitoba’s share of forfeited funds from federally prosecuted Criminal Code offences. Proceeds for the fund come from confiscated property or proceeds of unlawful activity and property used in committing a crime.
Nearly $450,000 has been allocated to support 14 projects including $65,000 for two projects with the Brandon Police Service in its efforts to combat bicycle thefts and reduce recidivism.
“We are pleased to support these programs, which look for tangible ways to deter crime and prevent theft without putting a strain on police resources,” Cullen said. “Our commitment to crime reduction will strengthen support for new and existing projects that involve meaningful community engagement.”
Brandon’s Bicycle Theft Prevention Strategy will receive $43,100 to combat the rise in property crime in the area. Trends across Canada indicate that bicycle thefts are related to the rise in drug addiction, with bicycles becoming a form of street currency. The strategy is aimed at combating crimes of opportunity and engaging Brandon residents to help them protect their property.
Key aspects of the strategy include:
• creating an online bicycle registry through Project 529 Garage – a bike registry app to help improve the chances of returning stolen bikes to their owners;
• building partnerships among the City of Brandon, local bike shops, educational institutions, Bear Clan and other organizations to distribute and discuss bicycle theft prevention information; and
• improving bicycle parking in high-traffic areas.
“This funding will allow us to champion new and innovative initiatives that will assist in crime reduction,” said Chief Wayne Balcaen, Brandon Police Service. “Anytime our police service can form partnerships with local stakeholders that assist in crime reduction, it is truly a win for the entire community. It is always exceptional news when we are the recipient of this type of funding and we look forward to the positive results that will be realized.”
Manitoba’s investment in the Brandon Police Service also includes $22,100 for the Recidivism Rate Reduction Strategy. The funds will help offenders released from the Brandon Correctional Centre find a job and develop the skills they need to break successfully cycles of crime in their lives.
The pilot project will target 10 individuals seeking to reintegrate into the Brandon community within a year and it will rely on community partners to ensure its success. These partners will include the Brandon Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation, the John Howard Society of Brandon, the Brandon Literacy Council and the Samaritan House Employment Resource Centre.
“Funds that we receive through criminal property forfeiture go a long way in enhancing the tools and programs for Brandon Police Service’s work around community safety,” said Mayor Rick Chrest, City of Brandon. “This new Bicycle Theft Prevention Strategy in particular will help address a growing problem that has plagued many residents in every neighbourhood of our city, and we are most grateful to the federal and provincial governments’ assistance.”