MPP JOURNAL for the week of September 27, 2021


Reducing Violence among our young people

Protecting our communities from all forms of crime is an important goal of our government. Unfortunately, this includes the ever-increasing rate of violent crime among our youth. That's why I was pleased to see Solicitor General, David Turnbull announce this month that our government is providing $2 million for a Youth Crime and Violence Initiative to police services and community organizations.

We all have a right to feel safe and be safe in our community. As I meet with front line police officers throughout the riding and province, they have been telling me that they are seeing some young people involved in violent acts, often ending in serious injury and even death. That's why our government is taking steps to support enforcement and prevention initiatives that are so critical to reducing violence among our young people.

The provincial funding will focus in two areas:

Enforcement Grants will be provided to police services to support enforcement initiatives that reflect strict discipline approaches to youth crime and street gang law enforcement. This funding includes support for the purchase of specialized surveillance and operational equipment, such as surveillance kits, digital cameras and database software. Funds would also be made available to train officers in youth crime and street gang activity as well as the sharing of information among police services, or developing local street gang computer databases or data management programs and specific youth crime and street gang operational projects.

Prevention Grants are being provided to support police and community agency partnerships aimed at reducing first-time or repeat offences by youth. This funding is designed to support youth crime prevention programs that promote respect and responsibility. These programs will target community, family and school-based risk factors and incorporate police involvement in early intervention strategies for at-risk youth, with a special emphasis on those children under 12 years of age. Prevention grants will have a cap of $30,000 per project.

According to Solicitor General Turnbull, this initiative will support police in targeting street gangs and bringing those involved in violent activities to justice. While enforcement is a key part of community safety, we also need to stop crime before it starts. By supporting early intervention programs for young people who have come into contact with law, we can keep them from graduating to more serious crimes at they get older.

This latest announcement is one of many our government has made over the last number of years to combat youth crime in our communities. Other initiatives include a model police school protocol for responding to violence in our schools; a $1.7 million in funding since 1997, through the Partners Against Crime community grants for 62 youth-specific projects; putting 1,000 net new police officers on the streets of Ontario communities through the Community Policing Partnerships program; and
Providing the Ontario Associations of Crime Stoppers with a $200,000 grant to continue its after-hours hotline.

If you are interested in learning more about either of these grant programs, I would urge to call my community office at 1-800-265-1603, or contact your local police service to see how your organization could get involved.



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Community Office
244 Broadway, Orangeville, ON L9W 1K5
Phone: (519) 941-7751   Toll Free: 1-800-265-1603   Fax: (519) 941-3246