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More funds coming to stop violent retail thefts in Manitoba

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The Manitoba government is investing over $1 million to help put a stop to retail and violent crime in Winnipeg.

Justice Minister Matt Wiebe made the announcement on Wednesday, saying the funding will go towards the extension of the Winnipeg Police Service’s Violent Crime and Retail Theft Initiative through summer.

“Let me be clear, violence and theft are not acceptable to our government and they are never acceptable to the citizens of Manitoba,” Wiebe said.

“While we always offer a compassionate and heartfelt response to those who are struggling with mental health and addictions, we cannot allow organized crime and chaos to operate unchecked in our communities.”

At the end of May, CTV News Winnipeg reported that the Manitoba government was providing extra money for overtime hours so more police officers could respond to retail theft calls.

According to police, this initiative led to 203 arrests and 31 Provincial Offence Act tickets over four weeks.

“From the police service’s perspective, we’ve been very encouraged by the results of this initiative, both in terms of the data collected and the feedback our members have been receiving in the community,” said Supt. Cam Mackid with the Winnipeg police.

With this success, the province is now providing $1.16 million to help fund additional general patrol units in areas of repeated crime, targeted theft initiatives and engagement with businesses to improve safety.

This funding is in addition to the public safety basket funding provided by the province to the police service.

“What has become abundantly clear is we need to continue these efforts throughout the summer months,” Wiebe said.

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