McGuinty Government Launches Crime Prevention Week November 4-10



    Focus On Combating Racism, Intolerance And Hate

    TORONTO, Nov. 2 /CNW/ - Crime Prevention Week, which runs November 4-10
across Ontario, will focus on eliminating racism, hate crimes, hate propaganda
and violence to make Ontario safe, Community Safety and Correctional Services
Minister Rick Bartolucci said today.
    "Fighting racism, intolerance and hate is one of the building blocks of
strong and safe communities," said Bartolucci. "Ontario will not tolerate
expressions of hate and racism and will reach out to protect those who suffer
from discrimination."
    During Crime Prevention Week, the Ministry of Community Safety and
Correctional Services works with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police
and police services to draw public attention to a particular aspect of crime
prevention.
    "Hate motivated crimes and propaganda hurt individuals and communities,"
Bartolucci said. "That's why we are providing training for police and support
for community groups to respond to and eliminate hate and racism in Ontario."
    In keeping with this year's theme, the ministry is providing $855,000
through the Safer and Vital Communities Grant program to fund community
projects that address issues of racism and hate. In addition, the government
is investing $50,000 to produce training materials to help police investigate
and prosecute hate crimes.
    Crime Prevention Week provides an important opportunity for the
government, police services and community organizations to focus on their
mutual interest in making communities safer through crime prevention
activities and partnerships.
    Since 1970, police services throughout the province have observed Crime
Prevention Week during the first full week of November, with a variety of
activities to highlight efforts to prevent crime in the community.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         CRIME PREVENTION IN ONTARIO
    

    November 4-10, 2007, is Crime Prevention Week in Ontario. This year's
theme, "Committed to Building an Ontario Free from Racism, Intolerance and
Hate," will provide the focus to help keep Ontario communities safe and
strong. Police, government and communities are being encouraged to continue to
work together to eliminate hate crimes and hate incidents in Ontario.

    Targeting Hate and Hate Crimes

    Earlier this year, the government announced an investment of $50,000 to
produce a training and education package for police officers to further their
understanding of hate crimes and to identify the root cause of such harmful
behaviour. That package includes a poster being distributed to community
groups as a strong visual reminder of how destructive hate and racism can be.
    As a result of provincial investments in these and similar materials,
police services, school boards and community groups across Ontario will be
better equipped to fight hatred and intolerance in all its forms, through:

    
        -  Greater awareness of what motivates a hate crime
        -  Information on how to recognize subtle but hateful propaganda and
           activities
        -  Shared information with federal, provincial and international
           police agencies, including the Ontario Provincial Police's own
           hate crimes unit.

    Since 2003, the government has:

        -  Provided specialized training in hate crimes legislation for a
           team of Crown attorneys
        -  Provided over $1 million from the Victims' Justice Fund to 17
           community organizations to support victims of hate crime
        -  Established a Hate Crimes Community Working Group to provide
           recommendations on fighting hate crimes and strengthening
           communities.
    

    The Safer and Vital Communities Grant Program

    The Safer and Vital Communities Grant program supports the ministry's
goal of working with partners to promote a safer Ontario. The program will
provide up to a total of $855,000 in 2007-08 to fund local crime prevention
initiatives.
    In keeping with this year's Crime Prevention Week theme, the ministry
will fund proposals specifically addressing hate crimes and racism.
    This grant encourages partnership development and provides one-time
funding for community initiatives to prevent/reduce crime. The grant is open
to community-based, not-for-profit, incorporated organizations and First
Nations Band Councils.
    The ministry sent the applications to police services across the province
in early October for distribution to community groups. Applications must be
endorsed by the local police, so groups wanting to apply should contact their
local police service for more information. The application deadline is
November 15.

    Other McGuinty government crime prevention initiatives

    The McGuinty government recognizes that ensuring a safe Ontario means
being tough on crime and tough on the root causes of crime. Over two years,
the McGuinty government has invested $68 million to crack down on guns, gangs,
illegal drugs and other criminal activities. Building on the success of last
year's $51-million province-wide investment, the government announced over
$17 million in investments earlier this year to help Ontario communities
target crime and violence.

    
    These include:

        -  Targeting crystal methamphetamine labs ($2.0 million)
        -  Implementing an anti-violence intervention strategy in targeted
           communities ($11.3 million)
        -  Creating a task force on marijuana grow operations ($800,000 in
           annual funding)
        -  Expanding the Ontario Provincial Police Asset Forfeiture Unit
           ($1.0 million)
        -  Improving intelligence gathering ($900,000)
        -  Providing additional support for Crown attorneys ($1.4 million).

    With more than $37 million in annual funding for the Safer Communities -
1,000 Officers Partnership program and continued support for the Community
Policing Partnership program, the McGuinty government now invests $68 million
every year and in perpetuity, to help municipalities employ more than 2,000
officers.
    Other measures undertaken by the McGuinty government to make communities
safer have included:

        -  The Youth Challenge Fund that will provide $30 million for
           community-led programs targeted to young people in the Greater
           Toronto Area
        -  The $28-million Youth Opportunities Strategy to help offer
           positive alternatives to a life of crime to young Ontarians
        -  The $3-million Down With Guns initiative to offer young people
           positive alternatives to guns and gangs.

    Contact:
    Anthony Brown
    Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
    416-314-7772

    Disponible en français

                           www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Anthony Brown, Communications Branch, (416)
314-7772

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