January 4, 2019 12:43 pm
Updated: January 4, 2019 5:33 pm

‘They want council to act’: Winnipeg police renew calls for City to prioritize safety

Moe Sabourin, head of the Winnipeg Police Association.

Jordan Pearn / Global News
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Winnipeggers want crime and safety to be a top priority for city council, says a new poll.

The Probe Research results, released Friday by the Winnipeg Police Association, show that 60 per cent of Winnipeg adults would like to see mayor Brian Bowman and his new council prioritize safety issues.

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“The clear majority of Winnipeggers are deeply concerned about the dramatic increase in crime that is gripping our city,” Police Association President Moe Sabourin said.

“And these findings don’t even take into account the tremendous spike in crime that occurred over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday.”

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Sabourin said the police association would like to work with council to help make safety a priority, but that police need improved resources in order to help build a safer Winnipeg.

“We have been saying clearly for a number of years that a lack of sufficient resources will lead to less safety for Winnipeg families,” he said.

“This data shows that Winnipeg families are now feeling that concern, and they want council to act.”

Global News reached out to Brian Bowman for comment. Although the Mayor was not available, his office did say he has “previously spoken about and supported many different public safety investments including increased funding for the Winnipeg Police Service,” and listed a number of actions aimed at increased safety:

  • operating funding to the Winnipeg Police Service has increased 10 per cent, or by about $27 million
  • funding for downtown foot patrols and safety ambassador programs
  • support for expansion of the Bear Clan Patrol
  • development of a downtown safety strategy
  • the establishment of a tri-level government task force on methamphetamine

“Mayor Bowman has prioritized public safety improvements and investments since he was elected, and will continue to work collaboratively with the Winnipeg Police Board, the Police Service, union, and fellow Councillors to continue finding ways to make strategic investments in making our community safer.”

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The poll results also indicated that more than half of Winnipeggers say they feel less safe in the city today than they did a year ago, and one-third say the police receive too little in funding, according to the police association.

Editor’s note: 

While Probe Research is a reputable local polling company, Global News has not seen the poll and could not verify the veracity of the poll’s methodology. 

WATCH: Winnipeg police receive more than 10,000 calls for service over holidays

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