TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing more than $6 million over the next three years to help combat crime and build safer communities.
The Proceeds of Crime FrontLine Policing Grant will be made available to 16 police services across the province to implement 21 crime prevention and community safety initiatives that help fight gun and gang violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence and harassment.
The grant is supported with funds forfeited to the province during criminal prosecutions.
“By cutting off the resources of these crooks and redirecting that money to our brave men and women in uniform, we will ensure our police can keep our streets safe and put violent criminals behind bars where they belong,” said Premier Doug Ford on August 6.
“Thanks to the relentless work of police forces across the province, we’re able to deliver $6 million more to help combat the most heinous crimes.”
Examples of initiatives to receive funding under the Proceeds of Crime Front-Line Policing Grant include:
• Providing training for frontline officers to help them better recognize gang activity and gather intelligence on crime;
• Adding community patrol officers to neighbourhoods experiencing a surge in gang-related violence or activity to strengthen relationships with community members and deter at-risk youth from entering gangs;
• Developing and implementing a diversion program to help at-risk youth exit gangs;
• Supporting covert operations run by the police, supported by victim advocates, to identify potential victims of human trafficking and hold offenders accountable;
• Providing enhanced trauma-informed training and interview techniques for frontline officers to interact with victims in a compassionate and thoughtful way; Bringing together municipal, First Nations and provincial police to improve community responses to human trafficking to help survivors access the supports they need to safely move forward with their lives; and
•Launching comprehensive education campaigns targeting groups that are more susceptible to becoming victims of human traffickings, such as women in low-income groups, Indigenous and immigrant women, and at-risk youth.
“Crime should not pay and that is why we are standing up against criminals who prey on Ontario communities for profit,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.
• The investment will be made over a three-year period, from 2020-21 to 2022-23.
• To receive funding, police services who applied had to partner with at least two community organizations from different sectors to encourage multi-sectoral collaboration.