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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.

Policy/Jurisdictional Issues

  • 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

Justice System

  • Waiting periods
  • Prevention programs - access to service issues
  • Justice system not culturally relevant
  • Referrals to victim services coordinators

Awareness Issues

  • 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

Program Needs

  • 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.

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