PROCEEDS OF CRIME TO HELP BUILD SAFER COMMUNITIES: SWAN
– – – New Resources go to Police, Services for Victims
The sale of property seized under Manitoba’s Criminal Property Forfeiture Act will provide new grants to help police and victims of crime, Justice Minister Andrew Swan announced today.
“With this law we’re hitting criminals where it hurts most and we’re using that money to help build safer communities for all Manitobans,” said Swan. “For our police, this means having access to more of the tools they need. For victims of crime, this means better services and supports for them and their families.”
Today’s grants include $592,000 to support the Winnipeg Police Service (WPS) for:
equipment and training to enhance its surveillance capabilities,
a portable training lab at the WPS training academy,
scanning sonar to assist the Underwater Search and Recovery Unit to make diving safer and more effective when searching large areas, and
an automated licence plate reader to assist with rapid recognition of stolen vehicles or wanted individuals.
Grants to community agencies will result in enhanced services to victims and their families starting in 2013-14. Grants of $30,000 each will be provided to:
the Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Medicine Bear Counselling, Support and Elder Services Project to provide specialized support and counselling services to the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in remote and isolated northern communities; and
the Eyaa-Keen’s Ni Mino Biimatiziiwin (My Good Life) project to provide specialized one-on-one support and group counselling sessions for the families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Funding will also be granted to support provincewide Manitoba Justice Victim Services initiatives including:
financial support for families of homicide victims for travel to court; and
support for the National Aboriginal Women’s Summit III, a community forum and healing ceremony, and for the development of a national action plan to address missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
These initiatives will be funded from a portion of the $3.1 million in assets that has been successfully forfeited to Manitoba through the use of the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act, said Swan. More forfeiture proceedings are in process, with 103 files being pursued involving numerous vehicles, houses, rural properties and cash, he added.
The province invited police services to apply for funding to support initiatives that enhance the practices and training of law enforcement agencies, or reduce or prevent crime. Recent amendments to the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act allow money from the criminal property forfeiture fund to be used to support programs and services that benefit victims of crime.