The Crime Prevention Branch, part of Children and Youth Opportunities, co-ordinates crime prevention policies and programs for the Province of Manitoba. The goal is to prevent criminal behaviour before it starts by addressing the factors that put individuals, families and communities at risk, while enhancing protective factors to help prevent problem behaviours.
Risk applies to events or experiences that increase negative behaviour, such as drug use or gang activities. Risk factors can be internal (within the person) or external (involving family, school, work, and community).
Prevention research classifies these risk factors as:
- Neuropsychological: (related to the brain and body)
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- poor nutrition
- ineffective parenting
- family criminal involvement
- abuse, neglect, trauma
- poor attendance
- inability to form and maintain emotional relationships
- low grades
- Substance Abuse
- underage and/or binge drinking
- illegal drug use/parental/family substance abuse
- prescription drug abuse
- negative influences
- antisocial behaviour/attitudes
- gang involvement
- disorganization - no shared sense of community among residents
- high turnover of citizens
- single parent households
- perception of being unsafe
- low income
These are positive influences that may decrease the likelihood that individuals engage in crime or antisocial behaviour. Building on existing protective factors makes individuals and communities stronger and better able to counteract risk factors.
- Healthy prenatal and early childhood development
- Strong attachment to parents, appropriate parental guidance and supervision
- Participation and success in school
- Positive peer supports
- Strong social supports
- Participation in healthy/structured programs
- Participation in traditional healing and cultural activities
The Crime Prevention Branch works with the following departments to co-ordinate crime prevention initiatives:
Children and Youth Opportunities – Healthy Child Manitoba Office – The Crime Prevention Branch works with HCMO to explore the most effective crime prevention programs. Healthy Child Manitoba co-ordinates the provincial early childhood development strategy and provides numerous programs such as Triple P (Positive Parenting Programs), Families First and Healthy Baby. These programs are examples of evidence based crime prevention through social development initiatives.
A large part of the Crime Prevention Branch's strategy is to prevent crime by supporting new parents and engaging kids in positive activities at a young age. To achieve this, the Crime Prevention Branch works with:
- Healthy Child Manitoba (HCM), which provides programs for parents like Triple P (Positive Parenting Program), Families First, and Healthy Baby. HCM helps parents support their children's development in a positive way
- Changes for Children, an action plan developed by Manitoba Family Services and Labour to improve Manitoba's foster care system. The program was launched in response to reviews of the Child and Family Services system
- The Manitoba Youth Transitional Employment Assistance Mentorship project, or MyTEAM, offers youths from 16 to 21 years of age personalized plans that will help them leave the child welfare system and be successful in the community
- ALLAboard Poverty Reduction Strategy, a strong poverty reduction plan and a strong economic plan. Working together to accomplish a goal of continuously reducing poverty and increasing social inclusion.
- MB4Youth, which Manitoba Children and Youth Opportunities has developed as a single source of information for all youth programs and services offered by the Manitoba government
- Lighthouses, provides after-school activities, such as sports, arts and music for children and youth
- Recreation and Regional Branch of Children and Youth Opportunities, which offers advice, assistance and information about recreation funding, programs, planning and how to better meet the recreation needs of Manitoba communities
- Turnabout, a support and referral-based prevention program for children under 12 who are in conflict with the law.
Children and youth spend a lot of time in school, so the Crime Prevention Branch encourages crime prevention activities in the classroom. Initiatives that promote safety and help protect children and youth from being victimized include:
- Safe Schools Manitoba, a group of organizations committed to working together to enhance the safety of Manitoba’s schools and communities
- School Resource Officers are police officers who work with students, staff and parents to address crime and safety concerns. Services range from building relationships to mediation to law enforcement.
Gangs falsely promise money, excitement, belonging and protection. To some young people, this can seem irresistible, especially if they feel that no one cares about them or if there has been trauma or violence in their families. The Crime Prevention Branch focuses on:
- Youth Outreach: Youth who are most at risk for gang recruitment are those least likely to attend school or anti-gang programs. Youth outreach teams seek out the most vulnerable youth and build relationships with them. These teams can assist by connecting at-risk youth to programs designed to help them. Outreach organizations include:
- Spence Neighbourhood Association Cultural Integration Youth Outreach (Winnipeg)
- West Broadway Youth Outreach (Winnipeg)
- Street Involved Youth Outreach Program (Thompson)
- Mentoring: Mentoring pairs children and youth with positive role models. A good mentoring program can be an important strategy in working with children and youth who are at risk, to build on strengths resulting in long term positive results. Mentoring programs include:
- Stay in School Initiatives: Keeping kids in school is an effective way to keep them out of gangs. Programs that help strengthen the relationships between families and schools lead to better school attendance by children and youth. Stay in School initiatives include:
- Art and Sport Programs: Young people who are involved in extracurricular activities are less likely to join gangs. Manitoba has many community partners that provide quality sports, recreation and arts programs for little or no cost, including:
- Employment programs: There are several programs to help young people take charge of their lives through meaningful employment. These include:
- Taking Charge
- Youth Build
- Opportunities Manitoba
- Manitoba Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade also has many programs to assist young people to get and keep a job.
- Building Urban Industries for Local Development (or BUILD): Build is a non-profit organization working with male and female adults to receive training primarily to retrofit existing buildings.
- TRY Program
- Support for Families: The family is the most important and effective, protective factor in a child's life. Programs that help parents support their children and keep them out of gangs include:
- Triple P
- Gang Awareness for Parents (GAP)
- Changes for Children
- Selkirk Team for At-Risk Teens (S.T.A.R.T.) is a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for high-risk youth in Selkirk and surrounding area which utilizes community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these youth in returning to school and/or seeking employment.
- Southwest Teens At-Risk (S.T.A.R.) is a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for high-risk youth in Stonewall and surrounding area which utilizes community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these youth in returning to school and/or seeking employment.
- Dauphin At-Risk Teens (D.A.R.T.) is a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for high-risk youth in Dauphin and surrounding area which utilizes community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these youth in returning to school and/or seeking employment.
- Youth At-Risk North is a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for high-risk youth in Thompson and surrounding area which utilizes community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these youth in returning to school and/or seeking employment.
Please contact the Crime Prevention Branch in Winnipeg at 204-945-4264 or (toll free) 1-800-691-4264 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns related to gangs or gang prevention.
Manitoba, in partnership with Broadway Neighbourhood Centre's JustTV, has created the following video: “There is Hope”:
Sexual exploited children and youth are more susceptible to:
- early pregnancy
- involvement with child welfare and criminal justice systems
- long-term dependence on social services
- becoming abusers themselves
To encourage existing community groups with common goals to work together toward common goals, the Government of Manitoba created Tracia's Trust: Manitoba Strategy Responding to Children and Youth at Risk of, or Survivors of, Sexual Exploitation. Some of the Manitoba Strategy initiatives include:
- Neighbourhood Solutions: Working Together to Address Sexual Exploitation on Our Streets, a resource for neighbourhoods that want to learn more about the issue of sexual exploitation
- Canadian Centre for Child Protection (Formerly called Child Find Manitoba) - is dedicated to the personal safety of all children. Their goal is to reduce child victimization by providing programs and services to Canadians including Stop Sex with Kids.
- Stop Sex with Kids public awareness campaign, in partnership with the Province of Manitoba and Child Find Manitoba
- Cybertip, Canada's national tip line for reporting the online sexual exploitation of children
- Training and Education Resources for Females (TERF), which offers transition assistance for female and transgender individuals who are sexually exploited.
- Child Protection Branch
- Street Reach
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Strategy
Children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) need extra support, so the Manitoba government introduced Manitoba’s FASD Strategy in April 2007. The strategy was developed with experts and people in the community. The goal is to promote prevention and provide support for individuals with FASD throughout their lives.
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) is a research centre within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. It conducts population-based research on health services, public health, and the social factors of health. MCHP develops and maintains the data on behalf of the Province of Manitoba for use by the local, national and international research community.
To prevent crime by encouraging economic and community development in communities, the Crime Prevention Branch works with:
- Neighbourhoods Alive! (NA), a multi-department, Manitoba government program established to focus on housing, safety, employment, training, education and recreation. NA encourages communities to be a part of their own improvement. NA programs include:
The Crime Prevention Branch works closely with the National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC); NCPC publishes information on best practices to reduce crime and offers funding programs that help communities undertake crime prevention activities.
Institute for the Prevention of Crime (IPC)
The IPC brings together scientific knowledge from expert sources to help reduce crime and victimization in Canada.
International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC)
The ICPC is an international forum for national governments, local authorities, public agencies, specialized institutions and non-government organizations to network, consider new research and improve policies and programs on crime prevention and community safety.
Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), a resource provided by the RCMP