Province working to reduce guns, gangs

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By Shawna O'Neill
Province working to reduce guns, gangs
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CORNWALL, Ontario – In 2016, 54 per cent of firearm-related homicides in Ontario were associated with gang activity.

Ontario’s government prides itself in increasing new resources and tools for local police, prosecutors and community partners to combat gang activity in the province. These efforts also include initiatives to combat human trafficking and improve intelligence-gathering in jails.

“The St. Lawrence River and Hwy 401 corridors have long been a route for traffickers, so we must all work together and be committed to limit these illegal activities so we can keep our citizens and communities safe,” said SDSG MPP Jim McDonell.

“Criminals don’t respect geographic boundaries,” said Solicitor General of OntarioSylvia Jones. “That’s why our government is committed to fighting illegal guns and gangs province-wide and ensuring dangerous criminals who commit offences end up where they belong – behind bars.”

Ontario is also extending government-wide efforts to reduce guns and gang activities by enhancing support to survivors of human trafficking, as well as investing in prosecution resources. The creation of an Eastern Ontario Gun and Gang Team will also take place, and the Team will work closely with Ottawa Police Service. Funding will also be given to the Provincial Gun and Gang Support Unit, the dedicated Gun and Gang Specialized Investigations Fund, the Ottawa Police Service Gun Violence Suppression Strategy and the creation of Justice Centres in four locations across the province.

“The Government of Canada is committed to a collaborative approach with all of our partners to better protect Canadians from the threats posed by gun and gang violence,” said Bill Blair, Federal Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction. “By providing the province of Ontario with $65 million (federal grant), we are ensuring that law enforcement are provided with the necessary resources to better detect and prevent crimes before they happen, while holding offenders accountable for their blatant disregard of the law. Nobody should have to live in fear and we will also continue supporting local community groups to provide at-risk youth with opportunities to live meaningful lives while rejecting a life of crime.”

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