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Developed countries are not immune to armed violence – one example for a strategy

Canadian Situation*

Developed countries are not immune to armed violence.

In Canada, for example, while crime rates are going down generally, some categories of serious crime have not followed these overall trends. Violent youth crime has been steadily increasing since the mid-1980s, and gang-related homicides have been increasing since information was first collected in 1991.

Canada has adopted a series of measures that balance enhanced law enforcement, more effective criminal justice measures, and evidence-based crime prevention to enhance safety and security in all communities, and particularly in urban centres. In Canada, the highest incidence of urban crime occurs in low-income, inner-city cores, and it targets the most vulnerable citizens.

The Canadian National Crime Prevention Strategy provides funding for community-based projects that support interventions with children and youth who are at risk for criminal behaviour, including possible trajectories into violent crime. The Strategy is administered by the National Crime Prevention Centre, a unit within the Canadian Department of Public Safety.

As a part of the Strategy, the Youth Gang Prevention Fund supports projects in communities where gangs are an existing or emerging problem. These projects, which are ongoing in most major cities and some smaller cities across Canada, are designed to prevent youth from joining gangs or to assist them in exiting gangs.

The National Crime Prevention Centre has also supported the development of tools, nationally and internationally, to assist local communities in addressing their crime and safety issues. An example of such a tool at the international level is the Guidance on Local Safety Audits: A Compendium of International Practice. Drawing on knowledge accumulated throughout the world, this document provides guidance to local communities on strategies for identifying safety issues in their communities and putting in place a systematic process to address those issues in a comprehensive, engaging and integrated manner.

*an excerpt from UN paper

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