Communities across Nova Scotia are getting help to make their neighbourhoods safer places to live, work and raise their families. Time to Fight Crime Together was released today, Dec. 10, to address areas for action identified by the Minister’s Task Force on Safer Streets and Communities. Fifteen million dollars will be invested over four years for new and expanded anti-crime initiatives. This is in addition to the province’s earlier commitment to invest $65 million to add 250 additional police officers in Nova Scotia. “We have developed a comprehensive plan to fight crime, guided by the input of hundreds of Nova Scotians who provided input through the task force,” said Justice Minister Cecil Clarke. “The plan addresses current crime through stronger enforcement and improved intervention, while stopping crime from happening in the first place through more prevention efforts.” New funding will be used to create a mental health court program, expand attendance centres, provide grants for youth activities, develop senior safety programs and create a new team to focus on crime prevention and work with communities. “Crime is a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted, comprehensive solution, and I believe this strategy delivers,” said Halifax Regional Police Chief Frank Beazley, co-chair of the Minister’s Task Force on Safer Streets and Communities. “It includes practical and attainable ways to address our recommendations.” Time to Fight Crime Together builds on other government initiatives, including government’s response to the Nunn Commission of Inquiry, the Social Prosperity Framework, and the Child and Youth Strategy. New and expanded initiatives include community-led early intervention programs for youth in conflict with the law; improved supervision of adult and young offenders in the community; and new street crime enforcement teams. A new mental health court program will hold offenders accountable for their behaviour in a way that is supportive and sensitive to their illness is a key intervention initiative. A crime prevention division is also being created within the Department of Justice to turn the crime prevention strategy into action, and to help people get involved with crime prevention in their communities. “This strategy presents new opportunities to work with communities and individual Nova Scotians to build a safer and more secure province,” said Mr. Clarke. The full strategy and more information on specific initiatives can be found online at www.gov.ns.ca . The crime prevention strategy is a part of the province’s new social prosperity framework, Weaving the Threads: A Lasting Social Fabric, based on the principles of collaboration, co-ordination and shared responsibility.