Fighting human trafficking, relationship violence, bullying and gang influences are among the goals of projects funded by B.C.'s latest civil forfeiture grants.
In all, 81 grants worth almost $1 million will help projects throughout the province to counter local crime issues, youth crime, violence against women and family violence, and human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The full list of funded initiatives is detailed at: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention/grants/index.htm
In releasing the full list of grants, Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond joined partners who will be working with Prince George Community Policing - an agency receiving a $9,550 grant - to deliver annual crime prevention workshops in the Northern Capital. This year's workshop will focus on various crime prevention issues, including combating gang violence, Internet and personal safety, scams, property crime, home security and Block Watch.
Another nine grants will benefit community-led projects specifically in northern and central B.C. They include:
Nurturing Our Spirit: A Woman's Right
Groups of northern Aboriginal women impacted by relationship violence will participate in three 12-week intensive programs funded by a $20,000 grant to the Prince George Native Friendship Centre. Working with a counsellor and a victim service worker, the groups will explore the impacts of trauma, learn about healthy relationships, and participate in cultural learning and spiritual development toward improved self-esteem and relationship skills.
Speaking Out: Assessing and Educating Communities About Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation in Northern B.C.
A $19,384 grant will fund a needs assessment, safety audit, action plan and media campaign focused on human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The first phase of this project will involve assessing communities north, west and east of Prince George, toward bringing together as many Northern B.C. organizations as possible.
Stewart Youth Say NO
This year-long project is receiving $15,500 toward youth programs, including a crime and violence education program and an organization that will connect Stewart youth with peers, increase their confidence and focus on their futures.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General -
"When it comes to building public safety, our regions, communities and even neighbourhoods have differing priorities. Our civil forfeiture grant process responds to that diversity, inviting applications in grant categories that continue to draw strong interest. That responsiveness is apparent in this year's funding for projects to combat bullying, as well as those working to prevent youth crime, family violence and violence against women, and other priorities."
"Prince George Community Policing offers just one great example of how a relatively small grant can go a long way to address local crime prevention needs. The variety of topics that it intends to cover at its annual workshops is impressive, and it's certain to enhance personal and neighbourhood safety in our city in profound ways."
Pat Bell, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie -
"So often, community-led efforts have the knowledge needed to zero in on a crime issue, and the creativity and local connections to build an innovative, effective response. It's great to be able to nurture that commitment on many fronts through these grants and help further the safety of everyone from young students to vulnerable women to seniors here in Prince George."
Prince George Mayor Shari Green -
"Part of what draws families and businesses to Prince George is a strong spirit of community and caring - a spirit that's reflected in the workshops and projects that are receiving grants. Working together to build a safer Prince George for everyone is critical to maintaining an inclusive, attractive, growing and successful community."
Acting Cpl. Ashley Hope, Prince George RCMP -
"This funding will showcase opportunities for people in Prince George to enhance the safety of themselves and their neighbours in many important aspects of their daily lives. As well, by contributing to the installation of new signs, the grant will help us to revitalize our Block Watch program, which we'll be strongly encouraging this year's workshop participants to join."
- Since B.C.'s self-funding civil forfeiture program became active nearly seven years ago, it has returned more than $9 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention programs and to victims of fraud and phony investment schemes.
- Beyond one-time grants from civil forfeiture proceeds, government provides more than $375,000 in direct funding for crime prevention programs each year.
- In the first nine months of fiscal 2012-13, the Civil Forfeiture Office initiated nearly 350 new administrative and civil forfeiture actions - up from 313 in all of 2011-12.
- B.C.'s is the second-oldest of eight active provincial civil forfeiture programs across Canada.
To see a full list of the 81 grants awarded, visit: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention/grants/index.htm
B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/civilforfeiture/
Pink Shirt Day news release summarizing some anti-bullying grants: www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2013/02/school-led-anti-bullying-efforts-share-in-1-million.html
ERASE Bullying tips and resources for parents and youth: www.erasebullying.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice