WINNIPEG, MB - JULY 25, 2017: A 20 per-cent increase in the violent crime severity index in Winnipeg comes as no surprise to the members of the Winnipeg Police Association (WPA) as budget pressures restrict the amount of time members can spend on patrol, said WPA President, Maurice (Moe) Sabourin.
“We have been warning Mayor Bowman and City Councillors that criminals do not plan their activity based on the rate of inflation – these recent statistics reinforce the point,” said Sabourin. “The statistics are disappointing, but unfortunately not surprising. Calls for service to Winnipeg Police Service members have been increasing significantly, and Mayor Bowman’s budgeting for police services has not reflected this demand. Criminals know when the police are under strain. As our members are swamped with calls, this leads to less time for general patrol and the Winnipeg Police Service is forced to be reactive. Sadly, the trend is criminal elements taking the initiative in Winnipeg right now.”
Sabourin urged Mayor Bowman and City Councillors to consider these crime trends as the planning efforts for the 2018 operating budget are already under way. “Right now, behind closed doors at City Hall, we know important decisions will be made before the 2018 budget is presented in the fall, and Councillors should be working to ensure this rise in crime severity and the continuing increase in calls for service are taken into account,” said Sabourin. “Now that we have a collective agreement in place, one the Mayor and his Finance Chair have both described as ‘sustainable’, let’s put the resources in place so our members can protect Winnipeg families. This violent crime trend won’t go away overnight, but with the right decisions, we can start to move forward once again.”
Maurice (Moe) Sabourin
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