JUSTICE MINISTER PUSHES FOR STIFFER PENALTIES FOR KNIFE CRIMES, HOME INVASIONS AND CARJACKINGS
– – – Community Safety Top of Mind for Upcoming Meeting of Justice Ministers: Swan
Justice Minister Andrew Swan today announced he will push the federal government at the upcoming meeting of federal, provincial and territorial justice ministers to adopt new and more serious charges for those who commit knife crimes, home invasions and carjackings.
“These are dangerous offences and peoples’ lives can be at stake,” said Swan. “Our government believes that criminals who commit offences such as these need to answer for the consequences of their actions.”
The ministers will meet Jan. 24 to 26, in Charlottetown, PEI. Swan said the agenda that Manitoba is bringing forward focuses on the priorities of Manitobans and ensuring safer communities. Issues include:
mandatory minimum sentences for premeditated knife crimes and new stand-alone offences for carjackings and home invasions with sentences that reflect the seriousness of these crimes;
Criminal Code penalties for unlawful use of body armour, and fortified buildings and vehicles;
continued funding for the police recruitment fund, which helps fund more police officers for the Winnipeg Police Service, the RCMP and various municipal police forces; and
stable and reliable federal funding for legal aid, expanded federal support for drug-treatment courts, and preservation and expansion of the youth-gang prevention fund.
The minister noted at past ministers’ meetings, Manitoba has seen success and action on a number of fronts including automatically making organized crime-related murders first-degree murders, creating a new offence to address drive-by shootings, an increase in penalties for gun trafficking, doubling the maximum penalty for stalking to 10 years from five and protecting children from predators by making it illegal to lure children for sexual purposes over the Internet.
“Manitobans have the right to feel safe in their neighbourhoods and their homes. These changes would help us move in the right direction to build safer communities,” said Swan.