News Release - July 7, 2006
GANG STRATEGY ANNOUNCED FOR SASKATOON
Citizens of Saskatoon will have a safer community in which to live thanks to a new gang strategy announced today.
The Gang Strategy of Saskatoon was developed in response to criminal activity in Saskatoon associated with gangs.
"Keeping communities safe is a top priority of this government," Premier Lorne Calvert said. "This new strategy for Saskatoon is a home-grown solution that will reduce gang activity by engaging resources from government agencies, law enforcement and the local community."
Beginning in October of 2005, federal, provincial, municipal and Aboriginal departments and agencies have been meeting to develop this multi-layered, community-centered approach to deal with gang issues. The strategy will build upon existing community and justice related resources such as employment programs, education, recreation, substance abuse treatment programs, corrections-based interventions and law enforcement.
The objectives of the gang strategy are to increase public awareness of gang-related problems, address the factors that encourage gang membership, help members leave the gang lifestyle and suppress gang-related crime.
"The Government of Canada is very proud to support community-based anti-gang projects that will help reduce crime," Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said. "This reflects the new government's ongoing commitment to keeping Canadian communities safe and secure."
"The City is pleased to be a part of this strategy to address safety concerns for our residents," Mayor Don Atchison said. "The strength of this strategy is that it is a comprehensive approach including not only suppression of gang activity through police activity, but also prevention initiatives focused on education and decreasing the number of people attracted to the gang lifestyle."
"This new strategy is a step in the right direction," Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Joe Quewezance said. "It addresses risk factors that are often ignored such as poverty, racism, early drug use, sexual exploitation and alienation."
"The Saskatoon Police Service looks forward to the launch of The Gang Strategy of Saskatoon," Saskatoon Police Service Acting Chief Keith Atkinson said. "The police service recognizes that it alone cannot combat gang related crime, and it is hoped a strategy like this one will have a significant impact."
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