18. Crime Reduction Board for Canada
In his introduction to the Safe Streets and Communities Act, the Canadian Minister of Justice noted crime must be reduced in Canada, given the 440,000 crimes of violence and 1.3 million crimes of property recorded by police last year. He stressed that $83 billion in harm to victims of crime in Canada justifies additional expenditures.
Smart enforcement and treatment must be balanced with smart prevention – fewer victims, less harm to victims, fewer cases for criminal justice, less deficit. This Act must include a short amendment to create a permanent and high level Crime Reduction Board to sustain efforts to prevent crime and enhance services and rights for victims of crime.
The Board would achieve its purpose, inter alia, by braiding federal government efforts to tackle the causes of violence, developing national standards and training, and sharing information with the public.
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15. Making Canadians Less Likely to be Harmed by Crime – Salvaging an Expensive Crime Bill
Tough on criminals without tough on causes is tough on potential victims and taxpayers. Pre-crime prevention is not only proven to make Canadians less likely to be harmed by crime but does it faster and more cost effectively than adding prison time to lengthy prison sentences.
There are many examples of effective crime-prevention programs and respect for victims’ rights programs already in operation in Canada and elsewhere. The federal government must upgrade and strengthen its efforts to prevent crime by ensuring these success stories are used comprehensively.
More laws will not protect Canadians from the costly harm of crime without smart enforcement and reinvestment in effective prevention. An ounce of violence prevention will save a pound in harm and taxes. Where is the ounce?
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