Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Swan looks to bolster crime fight in Brandon

Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan speaks during the unveiling of the Brandon Wheat Kings licence plate at the Canad Inns on Tuesday.

TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan speaks during the unveiling of the Brandon Wheat Kings licence plate at the Canad Inns on Tuesday.

Don’t count out Brandon when it comes to a trio of crime programs that have had their start in Winnipeg but failed to find their way here yet.

Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan didn’t supply a timeline for when the programs might arrive, but said Brandon could prove promising for expansion.

"I think, more than ever, people understand that building safer communities isn’t just about the police, it’s about involving the entire community," Swan said during a visit to the Wheat City on Tuesday. "I’m going to look forward to working with people in Brandon in the months to come."

Swan said Brandon could eventually see a drug court, mental health court, and a crime reduction program similar to initiatives in Winnipeg.

Brandon judges have lamented the lack of a local version of the mental health court that was introduced to Winnipeg in May 2012. The court diverts mentally ill offenders from the regular court system in favour of monitoring and treatment.

Brandon Police Service Chief Ian Grant has told this city’s police board that a growing portion of the force’s increasing calls for service relate to mental health.

Grant has also said he hopes that another Winnipeg-based initiative makes its way here.

The Block by Block Community Safety Initiative is a crime reduction program in Winnipeg’s North End. The $600,000, three-year pilot project was announced in November.

Police work with social agencies to connect potential offenders or victims with supports before they find themselves in trouble that requires a police response.

Also notably absent here is a drug treatment court.

Swan is already on the record as saying he’d like to expand that program to western and northern Manitoba.

The drug court allows people who are addicted to drugs and charged with non-violent or drug-related offences to plead guilty in exchange for treatment.

If an offender completes treatment and abstains from drugs, the Crown attorney will drop the charges or recommend a non-custodial sentence, depending on the severity of the original crime.

The Winnipeg Drug Treatment Court began in 2006. The province partnered with the federal government to deliver the program, and federal funding has been extended to March 31, 2015.

However, Swan continues to press Ottawa for more funding as costs rise.

"I’ve been trying to lobby the federal government to step up their support," Swan said. "I have told the justice minister that we want to have a court, not just in Winnipeg, but outside the Perimeter as well."

Brandon would be a good location for expansion, Swan said.

He said he also supports the idea behind Block by Block, but wants to make sure it’s a success before it’s expanded beyond Winnipeg. However, Brandon could be a good fit for such a program.

"I’m certain we’re going to get positive results that will allow us to expand elsewhere," Swan said.

When it comes to a mental health court, Swan said there are only a handful of graduates so far, but he expects good results.

"We’re carefully monitoring that," Swan said. "I think we’re going to get equally positive results, and I am going to want to have conversations with how we can bring that model to Brandon."

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 19, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Don’t count out Brandon when it comes to a trio of crime programs that have had their start in Winnipeg but failed to find their way here yet.

Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan didn’t supply a timeline for when the programs might arrive, but said Brandon could prove promising for expansion.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

Don’t count out Brandon when it comes to a trio of crime programs that have had their start in Winnipeg but failed to find their way here yet.

Manitoba Justice Minister Andrew Swan didn’t supply a timeline for when the programs might arrive, but said Brandon could prove promising for expansion.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media