HALIFAX – The Halifax RCMP detachment is the largest west of British Columbia. The mounties, together with members of Atlantic Canada’s largest municipal police force keep the peace in the biggest city on this coast, Halifax.
Thursday, the RCMP released its strategic priorities for the next 12 months. Priorities devised with a lot of public consultation. Among the highlights; increased focus on road safety, cyber crime, and crime reduction. But perhaps the most exciting is a focus on youth intervention.
“The kid that’s breaking into a car today is on a path to become a violent offender in 10 years” said C/Supt Roland Wells, RCMP.
Police want to use Hybrid Hub to create a pre-criminal, individualized, community based intervention model for youth. With a parents’ consent, the idea is to help youth before they get to the courthouse.
“The minute somebody in the community starts to have concerns about a child or they’re exhibiting antisocial, self destructive or pre criminal behaviour we will have a group that can intervene with that” said Wells.
Latest figures show it costs $117,000 a year to house an inmate in provincial corrections. Police say operating a program like Hybrid Hub would save money in the long run.
“For every dollar that we spend on this type of program we will save $7 downstream. It makes absolute sense. We can’t just keep dealing with the criminality, we have to get up stream and say how can we prevent that criminality” he says in an interview with Global News.
“Any intervention for youth at a very young age or any kind of connection that they make with any kind of positive adult or community member will always have an impact in a positive way” added Paula Latham, who runs programs with the YMCA in Dartmouth that help at risk youth. She says the more engagement a young person has the better, and that this type of program could be positive for the community at large.