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Manitoba unveils five-point plan to strengthen bail system and enhance public safety

Manitoba Government unveils five-point plan to strengthen bail system and enhance public safety
Manitoba unveils five-point plan

By: Staff Writer I Winnipeg tribune

Winnipeg, February 29, 2024 - Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew and Justice Minister Matt Wiebe announced a comprehensive five-point plan aimed at strengthening the province's bail system and enhancing public safety across the province.

"Manitobans in every part of our province deserve to feel safe in their community," stated Premier Kinew. "We know when repeat offenders are released back onto our streets, it impacts not just the victims of a crime, but everyone in the community. That is why we are taking action that is tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime."

The plan, as outlined by Premier Kinew and Minister Wiebe, encompasses the following key initiatives:

  1. Strengthening Crown Bail Policies: Crown attorneys will be empowered with enhanced policies, including considerations for the impacts of bail on victims and communities, particularly in cases of intimate partner violence and chronic violent offenders. This entails assessing whether detention is necessary to maintain public confidence in the justice system and ensuring public safety.

  2. Investing in Law Enforcement Resources: The province will allocate $3 million in 2024-25 to fund 12 new officer positions within the Winnipeg Police Service. These officers will focus primarily on apprehending offenders who pose significant risks to community safety, particularly those charged with intimate partner violence offenses who knowingly breach court-imposed release conditions.

  3. Data and Intelligence Enhancement: Manitoba will invest $514,000 to expand its capabilities for robust reporting, facilitating informed decision-making at both provincial and federal levels. This expansion aims to facilitate broader information sharing among jurisdictions and law enforcement agencies.

  4. Enhanced Community Monitoring and Supervision: A budget of over $500,000 will be dedicated to implementing an advanced Community Monitoring and Supervision Program. This program will offer intensive supervision and expanded support to chronic offenders, including better mental health and substance use services.

  5. Convening a Public Safety Summit: This spring, stakeholders including community members, law enforcement, and other agencies will come together to discuss shared priorities and address the root causes of crime.

Minister Wiebe emphasized, "With our five-point plan on bail reform, we are taking action on public safety in Manitoba. Our government is ensuring Manitoba’s streets are safer with investments in monitoring and supervision, better data collection, and stronger policies for Crown attorneys and more tools for law enforcement units."

The announcement garnered support from various quarters, including the National Police Federation and the Winnipeg Police Service. Bobby Baker, director of the prairie region for the National Police Federation, commended the government's commitment to effective bail reform, stressing the significance of modernization and investment in bolstering public safety.


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