Starting April 1, Winnipeg police will be cracking down on citizens who buy or wear body armour without a permit when new legislation comes into effect.

"It's all about making Manitoba a volatile place for organized crime and a hostile place for gangs," said provincial Justice Minister Andrew Swan.

The law is a result of long-awaited legislation that only allows police, corrections workers and those with a permit to use bulletproof vests or drive armoured vehicles.

If caught, individuals could face fines of up to $10,000 and jail time. Business selling the equipment could face $25,000 fines as well as jail time.

Provincial officials say so far only a handful of people have applied for a body armour permit. Those approved must pass a criminal record check.