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Report to Mayor's Roundtable Recommends 60+ Actions
(Friday, May 23, 2008) - Late-night bus shuttles, differentiated court systems, and plenty of intergovernmental cooperation were among the sixty-four recommendations presented today in a Report to the Mayor's Roundtable of Violence and Public Safety in HRM.
Professor Don Clairmont, Director of the Atlantic Institute of Criminology and a renowned expert in the field, delivered the Report today at Halifax City Hall to Mayor Peter Kelly, members of Regional Council and several Roundtable stakeholders. Dr. Clairmont had been tasked with facilitating the Roundtable process, which was initiated by Mayor Kelly in November 2006 to address crime and perceptions of crime in HRM.
"Even though violent crime rates have been trending downward in HRM for the past two years, we still have a lot of work to do to make HRM as safe as it can be," said Mayor Kelly. "Dr. Clairmont's Report to the Mayor's Roundtable provides a comprehensive, long-term strategy. We should look at the Report as a living document that provides not only insightful recommendations that will guide our efforts over several years, but also a clear baseline to compare where we are now and where we will be in the future.
"There is a lot to digest and tackle in the Report, but I look forward to bringing this strategy back to my colleagues on Council and to our partners in government, the police and the community to see how we can move these recommendations forward," Mayor Kelly added.
The Report's sixty-four recommendations were grouped under eleven themes; municipal governance; race relations; policing; the downtown; street crime; troubled youth; drugs, the sex trade and offender re-integration; neighbourhood engagement; social constructions of violence and public safety; the criminal justice system; and university students and public safety. Professor Clairmont indicated that the top three priorities should be building up municipal capacity to tackle issues of violence and public safety; directing more attention to issues of race relations; and undertaking new initiatives in reassurance policing.
The full report can be accessed at www.halifax.ca
"I was very impressed with the extraordinary engagement by stakeholders and the community-clearly, the level of collaboration and public participation is testimony to the wonderful spirit of civic commitment that characterizes HRM public life," said Dr. Clairmont, who devoted hundreds and hundreds of hours of planning, research, interviews, analysis and writing to the Roundtable process. "I congratulate Mayor Kelly for his leadership on this initiative and I look forward to seeing future developments."
"My thanks go out to Professor Clairmont and to the thousands of people who took part through meetings, discussions, focus groups, phone and mail surveys and community roundtables," said Mayor Kelly. "Together we are making a difference."