Community Safety and Security Issues in Labrador Communities
Policing Issues in Labrador
- Caseload ratios for police officers in Labrador - HVGB has the highest ratio, average of 200 vs. rest of Canada - an average of 40.
- Perception that most police work is reactive, not preventative
- Crime impacts on community wellness
- Political and community advocacy for more police officers - best utilization of resources, not just advocacy - demonstrate the need
- Limited officers in some communities
- Police sensitivity to victims
- Language barriers prevent accurate reporting and effective response to crime
- Cultural sensitivity for disbatch officers out of St. John's
- Reporting Systems ie. 911
- Community Constables in Makkovik and Rigolet have been removed from these communities.
Youth Crime / Children At Risk
- Changes to the Young Criminal Justice Act - reduced numbers in group homes but increasing numbers of youth crimes, are community structures in place to respond?
- Budgets have to be reallocated from service delivery and services to children to repair vandalism costs eg, damage at schools
- Perceived (or real) increase in crimes like vandalism, theft in specific geographic areas of Labrador
- Schools Act, section 19 regarding truancy, an example of there being no repercussions
- Limited access to school system to teach about prevention
Drug, Alcohol and Substance Abuse
- Drunk driving
- FAS / FAE
- Drugs, such as Ecstacy, Crack, Cocaine, etc., are rampant in most Labrador communities.
- Remove duplications
- Some tings are federal responsibility and are difficult to deal with.
- Concerns raised with Child Youth & Family Services Act ie. Waiting periods child custody cases, youth aged 16-18 years
- Boundary issues in education & health services in southern Labrador with the development of the road, are causing new problems with coordination
- Schools are not advising parents when anti-bullying programs are taking place in schools
Social / Infrastructure Development creates issues as they may increase crime
- Impacts of highway development and increased access and exposure to crime, drugs etc.
- Private sector advocating for reduced sentences to allow work to continue
Safe Houses /Shelters / Family Violence
- Safe houses and the need for funding support, coordination and advocacy
- Are there statistics on calls for need of safe houses by sub- regions in Labrador?
- parenting skills needed as interventions
- Waiting periods
- Prevention programs - access to service issues
- Justice system not culturally relevant
- Referrals to victim services coordinators
- Limited awareness on other forms of violence ie. Financial, elder
- Violence is just "woman's issue"
- Where are the Victim Services Workers / offices
Healing / Treatment Programs
- Restorative Justice - want to see more Counseling Services are needed
- Need an inventory of services for Labrador developed.
- Central depository of all print material related to crime prevention.
- Programs for offenders - reintegration programming.
- Inter-disciplinary teams to help with community reintegration
- Need for enhanced community education initiatives that support community re-integration
- Limited access to Psychiatrists in Labrador
- No support services for people suffering from mental illness, when they go back to communities.
- More community Living chapters in Labrador
- Develop a Labrador Best Practice Guide
- Improved sharing of resources, and tools between organizations and communities.
Sources: Labrador Connects Conference 2001, Labrador West Consultation in 2002, SSP Steering Committee, The Crime Challenge for Inuit Justice in Labrador - Labrador Legal Services, 2003 Labrador Women Conference, Zone five Women's Conference, community teleconference in February 2004.