Crime Prevention in Waverley West Ward & Winnipeg

The pandemic has amplified many social issues in our city. More and more people are experiencing poverty, homelessness, and addiction. Many resort to criminal activities to support themselves and their addictions.
  • I will work with the new Mayor and Council, and to support a greater focus on crime prevention through social development.
  • I will work with the new Mayor and Council advocating for a stronger partnership with our Provincial and Federal partners in addressing the root causes of crime – which often are trauma and poverty-related.

Crime in Waverley West

The Waverley West ward has one of the lowest crime rates city wide. We have a wide range of criminal activities occurring in the Waverley West ward at all times – BUT – the Waverley West ward has one of the lowest crime rates city wide.  Check out the Crime Statistics.
  • Many of the crimes committed in the southwest part of Winnipeg are crimes of opportunity – crimes that can be prevented. Vehicles are broken into because the bad guys see items they can sell. Vehicles are stolen in the winter because they are left unattended and running. Garage doors are left open, front doors are unlocked when people are home and in the backyard. Crimes of opportunity then occur.
  • During my two terms on Council, I’ve had members of the Winnipeg Police Service attend many Crime Awareness and Prevention events that I’ve hosted in the community. See a list of initiatives on my website at CRIME.
  • I’ve posted videos on the types of crimes occurring in our neighbourhoods, describing how each of us can do our part in crime prevention. On a regular basis, I post many updates on crime on my social media platforms to help keep crime prevention top of mind.
  • At these events, I’ve always discussed that if residents want to form a ‘Neighbourhood Watch Team’, I will ensure they had access to every tool, funding and promotional material available. To date, we’ve not had enough crime to motivate people to come forward to form Neighbourhood Watch Team – which is good.

Please know I will continue sharing data and stats on crime and will work with residents to ensure we keep the crime rates low. Key to crime prevention is education and each of us plays an active role.

Crime City Wide – Addressing Root Causes

The Winnipeg Police Service and Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service are the only two organizations that are on call 24/7 – 365 days of the year to respond to respond to 911 calls. People who are in crisis, or their families, often rely on calling 911 for assistance because it is one of the few immediate options available addressing complex socio-economic, sociological and health challenges some individuals face. A recent report identified almost half the calls Winnipeg Police received are related to sociological and health challenges. Currently, there is a constant reactive approach vs a proactive approach to policing. Because there are so many calls for service, being both criminal and health-related – a proactive approach to policing becomes very challenging.

Crime prevention through social development (CPTSD) is an evidence-based approach to address social issues and get to the root causes. The principle behind crime prevention through social development is promoting well-being through social, health, and educational measures. Such international authorities as the United Nations (2002) agree that CPTSD is effective, particularly with children and youth. In recent months, we’ve seen many youths becoming increasingly involved in serious crimes – which is horrifying.

  • I will enable a greater focus on supporting crime prevention through social development
  • BUT crime prevention through social development needs to occur through a strong partnership with the Provincial government.
  • The City of Winnipeg does not have a health department. Dealing with mental and physical health is the responsibility of the Province of Manitoba. This is a core responsibility of the Province, which the City can SUPPORT in many ways.
  •  I will work with City and Provincial colleagues to strengthen this relationship. 
Over the past year, the City and Province have partnered on a pilot project called – ARC – the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis.  SEE  Public Safety and Public Health 
Designated officers team up with clinicians to provide a “trauma-informed” approach to responding to wellness checks. Calls to 911 are triaged, and responses are designed to assist those in crisis to de-escalate and prevent unnecessary criminalization of their crisis.
These are the types of City and Provincial partnerships we need to see and further develop going forward.
  • I want to also state through many conversations with Waverley West residents, I will not be supporting any ‘defunding the police’ initiatives –  I have supported budget increases that were held close to the inflation rate and will work with Council to enable a reduction in calls for social issues. SEE Poverty, Homelessness & Addictions
  • I also want to note, in 2019, I was one of the nine Councillors (including the Mayor) who did vote to make changes to the police pension plan, which included the removal of overtime as a pension plan along with other changes to contributions and retirement provisions. Ultimately, through a legal challenge, changes were not made. It was important to me to publicly state, through my vote, that I do want changes to occur to the pension plan and other benefits.

Free Press reporter Tom Broadbeck wrote a very good overview of what lays ahead for the next Council – Candidates ignore police salaries at taxpayer’s peril.

You can see from the graph chart, past collective agreement increases, which over the last 6 years, Council has aimed to keep close to cost of inflation. There is much to weigh out and discuss regarding the cost and effectiveness of policing in Winnipeg.

Council approved the ‘proposed’ rates in green