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Province launches Gang Reduction Network

Alberta celebrates five years of Safe Communities with more resources to reduce gang activities
Edmonton… The Alberta government is marking five years of the Safe Communities Initiative by providing more supports to communities to help them take action against criminal gangs.

“In the past five years, Alberta’s Safe Communities initiative has helped our province develop into a national leader in crime prevention efforts,” said Premier Alison Redford. “The benefits of local crime prevention and victim support programs are immeasurable to vulnerable Albertans. Today’s announcement is another example of the power of partnerships and the dedication of communities to make their neighborhoods safer.”

Through Alberta’s Civil Forfeiture Fund, $1 million is going to support eight community gang prevention and reduction initiatives. Government committed the funding last year at the Gang Reduction Training Symposium.

Applications for the funding were assessed based on community need and the strength of the gang prevention initiative to reduce criminal activity, risk factors associated with criminal activity, and victimization.

The new gang reduction network will advance partnerships by bringing together community leaders engaged in gang prevention initiatives. Members can share their knowledge and resources to find local solutions and build on successes. Alberta’s network is one of only a few in North America that is focused on gang prevention.

“I applaud the effort of these community leaders who are taking a stand against gangs in their communities,” said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “They are strong allies in our crime prevention efforts and it’s important that we provide them with the support they need to help put an end to gang activity.”

“When someone is experiencing family violence it harms the victim, their family, and the community,” says Wendy Huggan, Manager of Justice Programs, Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council Family Violence Outreach Program. “With the support provided through the civil forfeiture grant, our programs and services will be available to the five-member Nation of Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Council, which means that everyone – victims, offenders, family and the community as a whole – can be part of the solution.”

The Safe Communities initiative was established in 2008 to address the recommendations of the Keeping Communities Safe Task Force report. It involves eight partnering Alberta government ministries: Aboriginal Relations, Culture, Education, Health, Human Services, Justice and Solicitor General, Municipal Affairs, and Tourism, Parks and Recreation. For more information about Safe Communities, visit http://justice.alberta.ca/programs_services/safe/pages/default.aspx.

source: http\:alberta.ca









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