By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – The Ontario government is reinvesting $2.5 million in cash and proceeds seized from criminals to help fight human trafficking in communities across the province: funding through the Civil Remedies Grant Program is being made available to law enforcement agencies and community partners for 33 local projects focused on prevention, crisis counselling, research and public education, newsroom Ontario said in a release.
“We are fighting back against human traffickers by investing in training, surveillance technology and equipment to help local police and prosecutors crackdown on the criminal networks that prey on and profit from young and vulnerable people in our communities,” said attorney General Doug Downey. “These community-based projects will strengthen local capacity to prevent and respond to these heinous crimes while supporting survivors.”
The initiatives being funded under the Civil Remedies Grant Program this year include:
- Programs supporting victims of human trafficking, including mental health crisis services, specialized care and support and education and training opportunities.
- Training for frontline officers to help them better detect and investigate human trafficking.
- IT upgrades to improve investigations of online crimes like child exploitation, harassment, intimate images and fraud.
- Investments in surveillance equipment such as automatic licence plate readers to identify and locate vehicles connected to illegal activity across Ontario’s major highways including remote First Nation communities.
“We agree with law-abiding citizens who say crime should not pay and we have made it harder for criminals to hold onto the proceeds of their crimes through the Smarter and Stronger Justice Act, which was passed by the legislature earlier this year,” said attorney General Downey. “These grants will help communities fight back against human trafficking and deter unlawful activity in their regions.”
Applications for the 2021-22 Civil Remedies Grant Program open November 3, 2020. The list of eligible applicants includes Ontario and First Nation Police Services, not-for-profit groups, community agencies and Indigenous communities and organizations that assist victims of unlawful activities or prevent unlawful activities that result in victimization. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2020.
“Our government remains committed to providing our frontline police with the tools they need to detect and crackdown on crimes like human trafficking,” said solicitor general Sylvia Jones. “These grants will help support local crime-fighting projects that will make our communities safer.”