Up to $1 million is being made available for crime prevention projects that respond to youth crime and domestic violence through the latest round of civil forfeiture grants.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton made the announcement today while speaking at the 16th annual Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards - part of B.C.'s Crime Prevention Week. Groups from around the province will be able to apply for funding for projects that fit the two eligible streams announced today: Domestic Violence Units and youth crime prevention in communities.
At the event, Anton recognized those people who have shown the courage to stand up against crime in their communities in the past year. This year, 22 British Columbians, groups and programs were recognized for their exemplary leadership in community safety and crime prevention. Recipients include a Vancouver police officer who trained at-risk youth to run a marathon, a unique anti-gang program in Surrey and a group of Victoria teens who address gender-based violence.
The highest honour of the day, the Anthony J. Hulme Award of Distinction, went to David and Mary Gates who have promoted community safety in Burnaby for more than 30 years. The Gates have been long-time Block Watch captains since 1982. They have demonstrated determination and dedication to building safer communities in B.C. through their numerous volunteer efforts over the past three decades.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton -
"The Crime Prevention Awards recognize British Columbians, from all walks of life, whose efforts keep all of us safer - in our neighbourhoods, at school, on the street, and at work."
"This latest $1 million we are able to make available through our civil forfeiture grant program will support community-based efforts with a focus on B.C.'s most vulnerable, including keeping youth out of crime and protecting victims of domestic violence - a promise made and a promise kept."
BC Crime Prevention Association president Rob Smith -
"Crime Prevention can only be properly accomplished with the engagement of a community as a whole. This includes many different levels of involvement from individuals, groups and programs incorporating partnerships between the police, citizen volunteers and non-profit organizations. It is truly a pleasure for the BCCPA to be able to help recognize just a few of the incredibly dedicated individuals who are so passionate about increasing safety and awareness in their communities."
- Application process details for the civil forfeiture grants will be available on Nov. 5 at: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention/grants
- Since B.C.'s civil forfeiture program became active in 2006, it has returned more than $11 million from successful forfeiture actions to crime prevention programs and to victims of fraud and phony investment schemes.
- B.C. has proclaimed Nov. 1-7 Crime Prevention Week to raise awareness of crime prevention strategies and highlight British Columbians who have contributed to community safety.
- Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards are jointly hosted by the BC Crime Prevention Association (BCCPA) and the Ministry of Justice.
- The Anthony J. Hulme Award of Distinction honours a crime prevention practitioner, volunteer or group for their extraordinary lifetime contribution and commitment to crime prevention and community safety. Hulme was an original founder of the BC Crime Prevention Association.
- The Civil Forfeiture Act allows the Province to seek forfeiture of property that is alleged to have been used to commit, or is the proceeds of, unlawful activity.
- Of the more than 1,770 cases police have referred to the civil forfeiture program, the CFO has acted on over 1,400. Of those, approximately one half are concluded. Today, more than 510 cases are ongoing.
A full list of the 2013 award winners is in the backgrounder that follows. Detailed explanations of their accomplishments are available online here: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention/awards/index.htm
A backgrounder follows.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
2013 Community Safety and Crime Prevention Award Recipients
Below is a list of the 2013 winners of the Ministry of Justice Community Safety and Crime Prevention Awards. A more detailed explanation of their accomplishments can be found online at: http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/crimeprevention/awards/index.htm
David and Mary Gates - Burnaby
David and Mary Gates have promoted community safety in Burnaby since the early 1980s and were the first Block Watch captains in their neighbourhood in 1982. They have both served over 30 years with a number of crime-reduction and public-safety initiatives. Their long-term commitment to Block Watch and other volunteer efforts speak to their determination and dedication in building safer communities.
Const. Angela Rabut - RCMP - Terrace
Rabut oversees the Auxiliary Constable Program at the Terrace RCMP detachment and is also involved with Crime Stoppers, restorative justice, school liaison work and the Ksan Girls Group - a mentorship program that connects female role models with high-risk teen girls in positive activities.
Chris Taulu - Vancouver
Taulu has been a driving force in the Collingwood Community Policing Centre for 19 years. Through her leadership, the Collingwood Community Policing Centre has grown significantly and become a model in community policing, housing more than 170 dedicated volunteers.
Insp. Mario Giardini - Vancouver Police Department - Vancouver
Giardini has been an outstanding member of the Vancouver Police Department since 1988. His contributions to working with at-risk youth while sergeant and acting inspector in the Youth Services Section, and his efforts in crime prevention, have left lasting legacies.
Det. Const. Brandon Steele - Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver
Steele is a 14-year member of the Vancouver Police Department and a school liaison officer who is committed to crime prevention and supporting youth through outreach and community programs. In 2013, Steele took 16 youth from the Britannia Alternate Program, Streetfront, and trained and mentored them to run the Vancouver Marathon.
Acting Together - CURA - Surrey
Acting Together - Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is a unique project that addresses youth gang involvement. For four years, the project has successfully engaged youth groups, parents, teachers, service agents, and law and policy makers. CURA has hosted 14 community forums on gang prevention.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers - Vancouver
For almost 30 years, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers has received anonymous tip information about criminal activity in 115 different languages and provided it to investigators in communities from Abbotsford to Powell River. In 2012, they received over 4,000 tips, resulting in 115 arrests, 169 charges being laid and clearing 236 case files.
PEERS Victoria Resource Society - Victoria
A registered Canadian charity founded in 1995 by former sex trade workers and community allies, PEERS is dedicated to the empowerment, education, and support of sex workers. PEERS strives to improve safety and working conditions for sex workers, and assists those who want to leave the sex industry.
Ann Alexander - Vancouver
Alexander is the associate executive director of PLEA Community Services Society of BC and is a leading B.C. expert in youth justice issues and the delivery of community youth justice services. She has effectively promoted community safety by supporting youth rehabilitation and reintegration into the community.
Charles Campbell - Nanaimo
Campbell is a retired member of the RCMP who served 25 years as a police officer. During his career, he was instrumental in a number of areas in crime prevention. Through his efforts, the Nanaimo Crime Stoppers program has become recognized as an inspiration in community safety.
Colleen Staresina - Surrey
Staresina, the crime prevention co-ordinator for the Surrey RCMP, has built her life around crime prevention and helping people feel safer in their community. She is president of the Block Watch Society of B.C., is on the board of directors for the BC Crime Prevention Association, and is an Emergency Social Services first responder volunteer in Delta.
Dennis St. Aubin - North Vancouver
St. Aubin was the ICBC manager of Auto Crime Strategies from 1995 until his retirement in 2013. While there, he was instrumental in getting several projects off the ground, including the BAIT CAR Program, the Stolen Lives documentary on dangers of stealing cars, and the administration of ICBC's Community Auto Crime Grant Program.
Project Respect Rhizome Youth Social Action Team - Victoria
The Project Respect Rhizome Youth Social Action Team is dedicated to engaging community members in addressing the root causes of gender-based violence. Over the past year, the team has volunteered more than 2,000 hours toward the social justice movement. Their work is an integral part of the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre's violence prevention program.
The Red Cross Youth Facilitator Team - New Westminster
The Red Cross Bullying Prevention program trains high school students in grades 10 to 12 to deliver bullying prevention workshops to students who are transitioning into high school. By the end of the 2012-13 school year, youth facilitators had delivered workshops to over 840 students in 28 classrooms.
City of Prince George - Prince George
The City of Prince George has taken a multi-faceted approach to crime prevention and community safety, engaging community partners to work collaboratively to create an environment where all citizens feel safe. The city has led several projects including Communities that Care, Step In - Step Up and Mayor Shari Green's Task Force on Crime.
Heartspeak Productions - Larry Moore and Cathy Douglas - Kaslo
Heartspeak Productions is a documentary video production firm whose materials have informed the curriculum of Simon Fraser University's restorative justice program, been used in B.C. schools to promote safety and non-violence, and have provided the backdrop for community dialogue. One of their most recognized documentaries is the "Reena Virk Story".
1800-SHREDDING - Surrey
Since 2009, 1800-SHREDDING has donated countless hours of time, manpower and equipment for Shred-A-Thon events held in the City of Surrey. The goal of the event is to help prevent identity theft. The company also helps the community's less fortunate via food donations.
Robert (Bob) Wallace - Mill Bay
Wallace, director of the South Cowichan Community Policing Advisory Society, has been volunteering with the South Cowichan Area Speed Watch Program for over 14 years, contributing more than 2,400 hours of volunteer service. He has been instrumental in traffic-safety initiatives in elementary school zones as well as initiating a "Be Safe - Be Seen" program.
Gordon Beerda - Smithers
Beerda has been involved in the Citizens on Patrol program for more than 20 years, and was instrumental in bringing the Crime Stoppers program to the Bulkley Valley in 1997. He currently sits as a board member of the British Columbia Crime Stoppers Society.
Darlene Browning - Coquitlam
Browning has been volunteering with the Ridgeway Community RCMP Station since 1996 and has contributed more than 10,000 hours in volunteer service. She is also a volunteer with Emergency Social Services, the Red Cross, and is a Block Watch captain.
Dustin and Gina Kearns - Kelowna
In March 2013, the Kearns received the Detachment Commander's Commendation for Outstanding Service, which acknowledged their contribution of over 700 volunteer hours to Kelowna RCMP relating to the recovery of stolen vehicles. From 2009-2013, the husband-and-wife team identified and located a total of 27 stolen vehicles in the City of Kelowna.
Mike Hoyer - New Westminster
A retired school principal, Hoyer shares his natural leadership abilities with various committees in New Westminster. He has been a part of diverse initiatives such as graffiti eradication, Block Watch and victim services. He has been responsible for rallying local merchants to support Block Watch meetings.
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice