Making Cities Safer: Canadian Strategies and Practices
Municipalities have a key role to play in reducing crime and enhancing community safety. This report examines themes and challenges facing 14 municipalities in Canada in their efforts to implement and sustain evidence-based community safety and crime prevention initiatives. It also identifies guiding principles for all orders of government that will assist municipalities in these efforts.In 2006, the Institute for the Prevention of Crime (IPC) at the University of Ottawa invited the mayors of 14 municipalities to delegate a representative to join the Municipal Network on Crime Prevention. The Network currently includes Vancouver, Surrey, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Waterloo Region, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, and Halifax. The Municipal Network exists to share knowledge and experience that will help strengthen the capacity of Canadian municipalities to reduce crime and enhance community safety. It is one component of Harnessing Knowledge for Crime Prevention, a project funded through the National Crime Prevention Centre at the Ministry of Public Safety Canada.
In 2004, Statistics Canada’s General Social Survey on criminal victimization reported that 1 in 4 adults in Canada were victims of some type of crime. Approximately half a million women aged 15 years and older were victims of sexual assault, a similar number of households were victims of theft of motor vehicles or vehicle parts and break-ins or attempts. Crime rates vary among municipalities and within cities, and crime rates are higher in areas of concentrated disadvantage and social disorganization, indicated for instance by high levels of mobility, family breakdown, and economic disadvantage.
In order to better understand municipal involvement in community safety and crime prevention in Canadian cities, IPC conducted in-depth consultations with members of the Municipal Network within the following framework:
• Past involvement of the municipality in crime prevention initiatives/programs;
• Current problems and challenges related to delinquency, violence, and safety in the municipality;
• Strategic importance of safety and crime prevention within the municipality;
• Current municipal safety and crime prevention initiatives and programs; and,
• Challenges for the future.
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