Crime Prevention

The Crime Prevention Branch, part of Manitoba Justice, 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 Factors for Crime and Victimization

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)
  • Family:
    • ineffective parenting
    • family criminal involvement
    • abuse, neglect, trauma
  • School:
    • 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
  • Peers:
    • negative influences
    • antisocial behaviour/attitudes
    • gang involvement
  • Neighbourhoods:
    • disorganization - no shared sense of community among residents
    • high turnover of citizens
    • single parent households
    • perception of being unsafe
  • Economics:
    • low income
    • unemployment

+ Protective Factors

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

+ Departmental Partnerships

+ Community Mobilization

Community mobilization is a process where individuals, groups, and organizations in a community come together to address social issues associated with health and safety, crime prevention, and community development.

  • START/ReSTART Model Programs are a Community Mobilization Initiatives that provide a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for youth and adults that live in Selkirk (START), Dauphin (DART), Gimli (FYRST) and Steinbach (Headway). These programs utilize community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these individuals.
  • ReSOURCE is a Community Mobilization Initiative that provides a coordinated inter-agency case planning program for youth and adults that live in Stonewall and surrounding area. ReSOURCE utilizes community and family resources to intervene, plan for and support these individuals.
  • Thunderwing, located in the William Whyte, Dufferin and Lord Selkirk Park Neighbourhoods of Winnipeg, coordinates and mobilizes existing resources to give individuals/families the support they need to prevent and permanently stabilize crisis situations.
  • Community Mobilization Westman is collaborative, risk driven, and pre-emptive. The goal is to reach individuals or families, in Brandon and surrounding area, at Acutely Elevated Risk and connect them to supports and services before the situation escalates or a tragedy occurs.
  • Wawokiya Project located in Portage la Prairie mobilize and coordinate existing resources across sectors to give individuals/families the support they need so they can prevent and permanently stabilize crisis situations.
  • Swan Valley Community Mobilization engages youth, individuals and families with complex needs living in Swan River and surrounding area, coordinates services and creates individualized action plans with the support of a Coordinator, responsible for facilitating the team based planning process.
  • CommUNITY Support Teams, located in Altona, brings individuals, families and their supports together, to work through complicated life issues by having regularly scheduled meetings and having service providers share help families and individuals make plans to deal with what is happening in their lives and for the future.
  • Community Care Program, located in Winkler, is a wrap-around concept based model that brings in all social service agencies to wrap-around a family. The Community Care Plan works to look beyond the behaviours and find the reasons for the behaviour, then come together to create a plan and support the client in working through that plan, have agencies working more effectively, together in a positive way and build trust between agencies and clients.
  • Thompson Community Response Team objective is to mobilize existing resources and provide the urban Aboriginal community of Thompson with an innovative rapid response method of reducing individuals/families experiencing high levels of risk.

+ Children and Youth Programs

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:

  • 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.

+ Safety in Schools

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

+ Preventing Gang Activity in Your Neighbourhood

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:
  • 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:
  • 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:

+ Gang Prevention Public Awareness

Please contact the Crime Prevention Branch with questions or concerns related to gangs or gang prevention.

Project Gang Proof - Fast Fact Sheet

Manitoba, in partnership with Broadway Neighbourhood Centre's JustTV, has created the following video: “There is Hope”:

+ Sexual Exploitation Prevention

Sexual exploited children and youth are more susceptible to:

  • violence
  • 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:

+ Health Initiatives and Resources

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.

+ Economic and Community Development Programs

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.

+ Federal Partnership

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.

Indigenous Services Canada

+ Further Crime Prevention Resources

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