The City of Montreal and the Quebec government are setting aside close to $2 million over three years for a youth crime prevention program.
The new program aims to convince young people who are at risk of committing violent crimes to “choose a different lifestyle.”
Dubbed PIVOT, the French acronym stands for Preventing and Intervening in Cases of Violence Observed on the Territory.
The new program is inspired by a similar model being used in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Support will be offered to youth who have already committed a crime in order to lead them towards a different lifestyle,” Public Security Minister Francois Bonnarder said in French at a press conference in Montreal.
The money will target outreach groups and community organizations that work closely with at-risk youths.
“Bring services to these youth that have more needs than other youth to get out of violence,” Isabelle Laporte, the assistant director of Un itinéraire pour tous, told Global News.
Violent crime involving firearms is down by 30 per cent in the first five months of this year compared with last year, according to the SPVM.
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Police officers say a lot of that is due to collaboration with community groups.
“We want to give them (at-risk youth) a second chance, an outstretched hand,” Steve Thouin, an SPVM commander, told Global News.
“Most youth don’t want to go into a spiral of violence. They do so by default for lack of options so this gives them options: sports, jobs, counselling. So that’s what the program is hopefully going to do,” Alain Vaillancourt, Montreal’s executive committee member in charge of public security, told Global News.
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